I don't think you ever stop adjusting as a PhD student
Believe it or not, but for the first 11 weeks of my PhD, I didn’t spend any time working in the office. I guess changing cities, homes, and lifestyles was, and still is, extremely overwhelming for me and I found comfort in working from home. However, failing to separate my home and work life had begun to affect my mental health, and I wasn’t being as productive as I needed to be. So I packed up all the necessary equipment and decided to make my desk at work a welcoming and alluring environment. The transformation took place last week, and my desk is now covered in Simon’s cat stickers and post-it notes with motivational quotes. I also have an abundance of tea bags in every drawer to get me through the working day. The outcome of this is that I am currently writing this blog post at work, instead of at home, and I don’t hate it. Slowly getting into a routine has also been mildly satisfying and has alleviated some of the stress I’ve been feeling over the last few weeks. Moreover, I now have my evenings and weekends to actually enjoy some time off, and my weekdays to be as productive as possible. It’s amazing to think that it’s been 13 weeks and I’m still adjusting… Yet, I don’t think you ever stop adjusting as a PhD student. I went to a workshop the other day on ‘Networking for career success,’ where a 3rd year PhD student (upon asking me how I’m feeling, and me responding that I feel overwhelmed, scared, tired, and somewhat stressed) told me that it never gets easier; you just have to get on with it. So my new motto is “grant me coffee to change the things that I can, and peace to accept the things that I can’t.” It’s going to be a fun few years…
On a more positive note, one of my earlier posts describing my project has been shortlisted by the director of my doctorate centre (STREAM) to be published on their website. Woohoo! I have, however, realised that all of my posts are being posted on there as a thread, just like this one will be *bites finger nails*
Anyway, to take my mind off of everything, I spent the weekend on the coast in South Shields. I don’t think there is anything that the sea cannot fix, even if it’s only temporary.
Anastasia Doronina is a PhD researcher in Water Engineering. This story was published on December 18, 2017, on Anastasia’s blog, The Diary of a PhD Student (available here), and has been republished here with her permission.
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