With only one month left in the first year of my PhD, the “summer break” is very near and very distracting. I find myself getting easily distracted by plans in the summer (and by plans I mean more work and reading). I am needing extra help to stay focused and motivated to finish up my first year.
But most importantly, I don’t want to rush through this last month and let it pass me by either. I truly love the work that I do, I just am figuring out how to better manage it all. I want this last month to be useful, enjoyable, mindful and reflective. So, I have been incorporating more mindfulness practices in order to help me enjoy my last month in my first year. I hope you can find some motivation from these tips as well.
Continue reading “10 mindfulness tips for motivation”
I remember starting my undergraduate degree with a strong (and naïve) sense of confidence. It has slowly decreased from that day but once I entered into my PhD, it skyrocketed downhill. There are so many things that can interfere with our confidence – imposter syndrome, funding rejections, grades, discussions in class, setbacks in research, stress, lack of sleep…. the list goes on. With that said, I do have those days that make me feel like I still ‘belong’ here. But a PhD is a roller coaster ride and if I am being honest, I often feel at the bottom of the coaster… heck, sometimes I’m not even on the ride.
Continue reading “Is grad school taking a toll on your confidence?”
Ahhhh coffee, just writing the word makes me happy. I can already feel the warmth of the mug, the smell of roasted coffee beans in the air and the sense that productive work is about to go down! But is it really healthy for us grad students to be drinking it?
Continue reading “A grad student’s take on coffee”
Recently I went on a research trip where we used a research method called ethnography for the study.
Essentially, ethnography is the study of people and cultures, where researchers observe from the point of view of the subject. During this research trip, I was asked to write field notes on my observations. I had never participated in an ethnography study before, nor have written field notes, so I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing. Through conversations, I had a sense of what I needed to include but I purposefully didn’t ask my supervisor exactly what she wanted, as I was curious to see what sort of style I naturally gravitated to.
With that said, I do suggest you find your own style but if you are wanting some pointers to help you get started or to prepare you before you research trip, here are a few of mine:
Continue reading “How to write research field notes”
This semester has been challenging for me in many ways but mainly in terms of my coursework and readings. The level of comprehension is one step further than what I have been attuned to in the past, both in my Bachelors and Masters degree. The two courses I am currently taking are Ethical Foundations and Political Economy. This means that I am reading authors like Marx, Smith, Richardo, Hegel, de Beauvoir, Benhabib, Aristotle, Kant, Levinas … and the list goes on.
Continue reading “Tips for understanding difficult material”
I am a goal setting, type A personality, through and through. But when I found out that I had to create learning goals for my PhD, it felt like a heavy weight on my shoulders. I barely knew what a PhD entailed, so how could I begin to make goals to achieve it? Breaking down the goals into categories helped me create the learning goals from scratch. And more importantly, when a new opportunity presents itself, I can revisit these goals and helps me stick to what I am really trying to achieve, without veering off course.
Continue reading “How to create grad school learning goals”
Along with the stress of achieving good grades, balancing tight deadlines, experiencing imposter syndrome and endless amounts of guilt, we students also have to deal with the constant anguish around finances. Now if you are lucky enough to receive sufficient funding through scholarships for your degree, then congratulations! But if you are like the majority of grad students (including me), then you are most likely living paycheque to paycheque, taking on extra side gigs, precarious work, and underemployment.
In order to ease this burden in academia then proposal writing will become your middle name. However, this post isn’t about how to get more money, instead, it’s about how to save the money you do have, for longer.
Here are my five creative money saving tips that I use to help draw out my dollar while pursuing my dreams as a student!
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Well, you asked for it; the other day I asked your opinions on upcoming blog posts. I received an outstanding number of ideas which I am excited to write about in the coming weeks. But before I dive into these topics, you also asked to hear more about me, my research and my story. I figured this week is a good place to start and I am excited to share it with you all. I hope I will be able to shed some light onto what has brought me where I am today, what my day-to-day currently looks like with my school and projects, as well as where I want to head in my future. So here it goes, a glimpse into the past, present, and future of Christine.
Continue reading “More about me, Christine”
Over this past weekend, I traveled to Jamaica for a friend’s destination wedding. Without a doubt, I was excited to enjoy the warm weather and salty ocean but unfortunately, my anxiety about my workload was outweighing my enjoyment. This semester is shaping up to be an extremely busy one and I still am figuring out how to manage it. My anxiety kept taking over during the hours leading up to my flight. My thoughts persisted: How am I going to get everything done for next week? And the week after? What if I don’t do these things to the best of my ability? Should I do work while I am on vacation? How much work should I do? But what is the point of me going all this way and not enjoying some time off?
These questions in my mind wouldn’t stop spiraling.
Continue reading “How to take a mini vacation from grad school “
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll already know that I recently received a rejection letter from a funding proposal that I submitted last semester. I am quickly realizing that rejection is inescapable in academia. Continue reading to find out some tips that helped me cope with this rejection and that I will take with me in future disappointments.
Continue reading “Dealing with rejection in grad school”