Giving and receiving feedback is a skill I highly underestimated I would be using before going into my PhD. I am not sure what I expected actually, was I expecting everyone to say, “this is fantastic” and me to fly through my PhD with ease? I think it mostly has to do with PhD students doing very well in their undergraduate and graduate degrees, rarely receiving in depth feedback because they are excelling and the students who need to improve, receive more of the feedback. This was my expectation for the PhD as well, and far from my reality.
But my journey with feedback hasn’t been so bad. I truly love receiving feedback because this is where I learn. The conflict I have with feedback is that it always stings a bit. I’ve talked about receiving feedback for my qualifying exam in this blog post, but currently I am working through revisions for my proposal. This process has allowed me to reflect on how others provide me with feedback, how I prefer to receive feedback, and how I give feedback myself.
Continue reading “Giving and Receiving Feedback in your PhD”
It has become a tradition to reflect on each year of my PhD and somehow put my reflections to words in a blog post. You can read my reflections from my first year here, and from my second year here.
This year, it has taken me a while to write this post. My third year has been one of the most difficult ones yet, however the way my fourth year is shaping up might beat it. My third year was the first year without course work. I moved back full time from Ottawa to Toronto. I struggled to complete my qualifying exam – put did pass. And I taught for my first time. All while planning a wedding, that was “postponed” due to the pandemic.
But here I am, in my fourth year, reflecting on my third.
So, here are my 10 personal reflections from my 3rd year as a PhD student:
Continue reading “10 personal reflections of a 3rd year PhD Student”
I am excited to share with you today the first part, of a three part series, in my experience with my qualifying exam. This first post will share an overview of my story with the qualifying exam – what it looked liked in my department at my school, my personal journey with it and some of my advice along the way. My qualifying exam was comprised of both a written and an oral exam, therefore part 2 will be specifically about my written exam and part 3 will share the oral exam. Part 2 and 3 will provide more specifics on my process of writing, how many hours and how I prepared for the oral exam, as well as what I think helped and didn’t.
Continue reading “My PhD Qualifying Exam: Part 1”
DISCLAIMER: This is my story of anxiety and depression. Please consult a doctor or health care practitioner if you are seeking help for your anxiety or depression.
Now entering my fourth year of my PhD. I sit here a bit stunned thinking “how did I get here”? Perhaps it’s because I am entering into my fourth year and only starting my proposal now. Perhaps it’s because I was supposed to get married and couldn’t because of COVID-19. Or perhaps it’s because I can hardly look at myself in the mirror because of the acne on my face and my hair is literally falling out. Whatever it was led me to this question “how did I get here” and had me searching for answers.
Continue reading “Mental health and my PhD”
Heading into week four of quarantine, I have a variety of feelings and thoughts – per usual. First and foremost, for anyone who has been personally impacted by COVID-19, I want to say I am thinking about you and sending you love. Secondly, for anyone on the front lines – from doctors, nurses, to those working at my local grocery store, I want to say thank you for all your work with those who are sick and for allowing us to have access to our essential services.
This post is not groundbreaking, I have shared all these tips before. As a PhD student, working from home has been my speciality. But, working from home during a pandemic, now thats new. These tips are simple reminders that are helping me stay motivated during quarantine.
I also want to put a disclaimer here; these tips are helping me, this is not to say the will help you too. Everyone’s life is so unique right – you could be experiencing job loss, or if you might be having to juggle work and homeschooling your children. But something we are sharing right now is experiencing communal trauma. And for us PhD’s, we still have to continue our studies despite it. Here are a few things that are keeping me motivated.
Continue reading “How I am *trying* to stay motivated during COVID-19”
This semester, my life outside of my PhD has been pushing me to pay attention to it. Many circumstances have forced me to put my work aside and put my personal life first; planning a wedding, health concerns with family, moving apartments, and most recently a death.
Continue reading “Life Happens Outside of Your PhD”
After two and a half years of my PhD, my body feels depleted. Last semester, nothing went to plan, which has made January was one of the hardest months of my PhD this far. I didn’t feel like myself, my body gave up on me and my mind felt against me. How could this be? I have only just finished my course work, I haven’t even started my dissertation! Am I burnt out before I have even started? Today’s blog post will share how I am restoring my body and mind in order to hopefully continue on this PhD marathon.
Continue reading “Burnt out before I’ve even started? How I am putting myself before my work”
The end of a semester is often a busy time for most scholars. The past two months have been especially difficult for me. I am completing my qualifying exams, prepping to teach my first course, working on a research study, and other paid jobs. In times like these, it is easy for me to get caught up in a negative mindset. In this blog post I want to share how I have been trying to shift my negative mindset to a more positive one.
Continue reading “Mindset shifts for grad students”
I have recently started to prioritize boundary setting in my life – both in and outside of my degree. These boundaries started partly because I am learning to trust and care about myself more. But it is also due to the fact that I never thought I had the power to set boundaries. I never was in a situation to say no to opportunities (still not) and I felt like I was never doing enough academically (still do). All of this changed when I started to put myself first and push back on the demands of academia. Read more below to find out what I have learned about boundary setting.
Continue reading “Setting Boundaries in Grad School”
Hi Scholar Friends, I know it has been a while. I am deep in the midst of my qualifying exams and I am taking a break to write this important post. After finishing my coursework in the spring, I have officially moved onto the isolation component of my PhD. Everything I do from this point on is, well pretty much, on my own. My work space consists of a 9×9 room in my 500 square foot apartment, with no door and no windows. But it is a designated space, and I have the necessities. I have found working from home more difficult than I expected. I had worked from home before but never 7 days a week. Over the past few months I have figured out some strategies that have helped me in this journey. Below you will find some of my top 5 tips for working from home.
Continue reading “Tips for Working from Home”