Tips For Successfully Completing your PhD– Part 1
Completing your PhD thesis is no walk in the park. I can still remember walking into the lab one afternoon to find my senior huddled under a table, ‘Hiding from the stress’ as he put it. Despite these difficulties, plenty of eager students start their PhD every year, enthusiastic but woefully unprepared for the hardships that they will face. To help prospective (or current) PhD students, we’ve compiled a list of ten things that you should keep in mind while carrying out your research.
1. Choose your topic wisely
Unlike your master’s dissertation or the book report you left until the last minute, PhD projects take a minimum of three years. That’s a lot of time to spend on a topic that you either don’t like or aren’t interested in.
This seems an obvious reminder, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to get distracted when you have an important task at hand with a deadline that’s far away. And trust me, there will always be distractions, whether it’s the latest episode of Game of Thrones or that new restaurant that’s opened down the road. Make sure you stick to deadlines. And speaking of deadlines…
3. Set goals
Completing an entire PhD is no mean feat. Faced with such a daunting prospect, it can be easy to let things go till the last minute and suddenly realise that you have an entire chapter due in a week. Set viable goals for yourself, whether it’s using that fancy new planner your friend bought you for your birthday or an app on your phone.
This might sound counter-productive, but you’d be surprised how many PhD students get so engrossed in the work that they’re doing, they completely forget the world around them. Friends, family and social life all take second place to their research. Don’t let that happen to you, after all, everyone needs a breather sometimes.
5. Enjoy your work
While it seems like a lot of work, a PhD is actually a great chance to become an expert in your field. You get to meet new people, have access to incredible laboratories and focus on next to nothing but what you chose to study, all while adding to the world of knowledge. It should be like a dream come true, but it can quickly become your worst nightmare if you don’t remain optimistic.
We have only covered five posts in this section. In the next two posts, we will concentrate on the remaining five tips, covering everything from supervisors to criticism.
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