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Second year of PhD: You are nowhere near finished!

Second year of PhD: You are nowhere near finished!

If you haven’t read what I learnt during my first year of a PhD yet, go here.

1. “Middle of PhD” lull exists: It is not a myth - when I hit the half way mark, I reallllllly started to lack motivation and I think others in my office felt the same.

2. You start to realise why getting a PhD is such a big deal: It still astonishes me that I was accepted into a PhD, so I often think that it must not be as big of a deal as people make it out to be. But during second year, you realise just how much hard work and resilience is required to finish.

3. Self-care is essential: I bang on about it all the time, but self-care is non-negotiable. You will feel angry, unmotivated, upset, tired, grumpy, and overwhelmed, and that’s only with PhD-related things. Throw other life in the mix and you could burn into the ground so easily.

4. Don’t let your PhD consume your life: I learnt last year just how fragile life is. One thing this really reinforced in me was that my PhD can’t consume my life. I need to see the people I care about, watch TV that I like, adventure far and wide, and spend a morning surfing here and there.

5. You are nowhere near finished: My current PhD deadline is set for 14 months’ time. This fact make me laugh hysterically (if I didn’t laugh I would cry!). I am two years down in time, but I definitely have more than half of my work left to do.


Brianna Le Busque (@BriannaLeBusque) or Dr. of What is a PhD candidate in Conservation Psychology. This story was published on February 11, 2018, on Brianna's blog 'dr.ofwhat?' (available here), and has been republished here with her permission.

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