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How I spent my first week of PhD life

 How I spent my first week of PhD life

This week has been so inspiring; despite a few setbacks that I have faced. My health has not been the best these past couple months, and I have had a couple rounds of antibiotics. It has definitely slowed me down – but sometimes life will force you to slow down, enabling you to focus on other elements.

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Out of hours in Stockport – so efficient! Was in and out within 20 minutes in the middle of the night! Thank you!
 

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View from my bedroom!
 

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Snow day!
 

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My beautiful Phoenix!


With my health in the toilet, naturally when the weather kicked in with snow, I opted out to sit in bed and try to recover. I ordered a takeaway, and finished my antibiotics while setting up my action plan for the next week. I spent some time enjoying the snow with my doggy and had an afternoon sleep in the icy weather! I also spent time thinking…

Part of me has questioned why I decided to start my PhD soon after my Master’s, as I am definitely feeling fatigue; however, I feel like if I didn’t start now, then I probably would never find the courage to begin. Now that I have done the induction week, I understand why so many students drop out or never find the mental strength to commit to a minimum of three years of intense research and ‘thinking critically’ about everything! So this time, off with my health, I have made some personal goals alongside work and university, in the hope that I will keep some form of sanity these next few years.

So with that being said, what did my first week look like, and more importantly, what do the next few months look like? My first week began before my first week began! I was sent an email from the university with a mile-long list of things to do online, which included several training courses, checklists, and registering for further training. As much as this scares me due to time constraints, I do see the value of it all, and really will be trying my best to attend everything I have signed up for. The courses will be running twice a week at the university; one discussing the philosophical approach of our research and the other dealing with thesis writing. In addition to this ten week program, there are also several other training days which cover writing our literature review, publishing, and several other relevant topics.

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“The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work.” Vince Lombardi
 

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Salford University
 

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Salford University Library


I am hoping that with everything I learn throughout my training and research, I will be able to share and give others an insight into PhD life as well as help those who want to further their knowledge.

The three-month plan also includes submitting relevant paperwork such as the learner agreements and ethics applications. I didn’t realise how quickly it all moves once you get the ball rolling. I meet my supervisor next week and will hopefully be given some direction as to what I can do next, as well as discussing my Master’s research, which we are aiming to publish in the next few months. I can’t believe that by March, I would have already done the initial key elements of my first year as well as possibly have my work published. Life truly doesn’t wait for you to find time or make time for everything – your days will pass regardless of what you do and don’t do. So all that is important is doing the best you can with each day you are given.

I have to say I am ending this week feeling very scared, but so motivated. I have such a strong feeling that amazing things lie around the corner and I simply cannot wait for them to all manifest in their time. I have managed to fit in some fun time outside of uni and work this week; having some drinks with my new friends and ending with a concert. What a full week! Let’s see what next week holds!

I will end this post with something one of the professors said this week: “In your first year, you will have no idea what you are doing. In the second year, you will panic about what you are doing, and in the third year, you will attempt to write about that panic!”

Thanks for reading!


Montana Creswell (@Pretty_Clever_M) is a PhD candidate in Business Management. This story was published on February 5, 2019, on Montana’s blog, Pretty Clever Montana (available here) and has been republished here with her permission.

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Your Research. Your Life. Your Story.

A magnetic community of researchers bound by their stories