Leah’s PhD: Another Year (Almost) Down

Well, another year of #phdlife is quickly coming to an end, and it’s been just over a year since my last reflective blog post. In last year’s post, I thought it’d be a good idea to use bug GIFs to illustrate some PhD/life lessons I had learned throughout the year. Don’t worry, readers – I’ve grown up. I won’t bombard you with bug GIFs again.

Because this year it’s going to be Oprah Winfrey GIFs! Those who frequently speak to me in person know that I love Oprah, and I’ve just discovered how massive the collection of Oprah GIFs offered by the Web is. What a time to be alive, folks. What. A. Time.

So, here goes. Another year as a PhD student, another reflective blog posts about all the important things I’ve learned. Please bear with me on this one. As I write this, I’m in the business class car of a train from Montréal to Toronto and VIA Rail offers unlimited alcoholic drinks.

Just three things this year, so you have no excuse for not reading.

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Leah’s PhD: First-Year Nearly Complete

It certainly does not seem like nine months have passed since I was excitedly tweeting about my first official day as a PhD student.

I was so excited to start that day that my body woke itself up at 4:30am, and I ended up going out for a spontaneous 7km run in the dark to wear myself out.

Now I’m lucky if I can manage to make time for a 7km run.

It recently occurred to me, though, that even though my life has been taken over by this PhD, I am so grateful to be where I am right now. For the first time in my life, I am living in a town where I can look up and see stars on a nightly basis. I am surrounded by friends and colleagues who are supportive, smart, and fun. I am excited about my research and have a knack for getting other people excited about it too.

This is not to say that the year has not been full of struggles. There have been a few personal issues. My brain sometimes hurts from thinking too much. I need to start saying no to things. This is why, as my first year as a PhD student rapidly approaches its end, I’ve decided to take some time to reflect on what’s gone well, what’s gone not-so-well, and what I’ve learned about being an academic and being myself.

For ease of reading, this reflection will take a ‘Things You Should Know About the First Year of Your PhD’ format. Y’all know how much I love a good reflection post. Learn from me, grasshoppers. Don’t give into the man(tis). Give (crick)it your all.

Actually, now that we’re on an insect roll, I may as well accompany my advice with some insect-related GIFs. Ant you so glad that your reading this right now?

Here y’all are. Things you should know going into the first year of your PhD:

Continue reading “Leah’s PhD: First-Year Nearly Complete”