A love letter communicating boundaries, from a PhD student

Dear loved one,

Thank you for continuously inviting me to outings even though I often take a rain check. I wish I could be there more but my PhD is quite demanding.

Thank you for asking me what I am studying, even though you have asked me before. I know it’s a lot to wrap your head around – it’s a lot for me too.

Thank you for being patient when I don’t respond right away to your texts or calls. I might be feeling overwhelmed and want to wait until I am in a better mindset to give you my full attention.

Thank you for not asking me “how my writing is going”, it is a very challenging process and it can cause me a lot of anxiety. If I want to discuss it, I will be sure to bring it up with you when I am ready.

Thank you for not asking me when I will be finished/how much longer/shouldn’t I be done by now. A PhD takes a long time, even if you know someone who has finished in 4 years, the average is actually longer.

Thank you for your continuous support in this pursuit through words of encouragement, offering food or your time. I often question this path because it is so financially and mentally difficult, and your support means more than you know.

Thank you for being open and explicit with me about your boundaries too. It helps me empathize with the things you are going through that I might not fully understand.

Thank you for your continued friendship, I value it so much. 

With love from A PhD student

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