Times are still uncertain; we don’t know how the coming Academic Year will start. Will you be allowed to go to University, perhaps still working from home (hybrid), will we still need to maintain a 1,5-meter distance, what will be the maximum number of people allowed in a room, what rules will apply? Can you finally reserve a space in the lab, will research be possible or not with the new covid rules?
And before you know it you will be on your own and behind your screen for weeks or months on end. Not for nothing lots of PhD students feel very lonely. What to do to avoid struggling on your own for the rest of the year?
Find a buddy
There are so many PhD students who are in the same boat. Search for them, find them. Via the Graduate School, PhD Associations, make an appeal on Twitter, develop a dating app for buddy’s, ask your supervisor for the names of fellow PhD students.
It really helps to talk to someone, to discuss things, to open up to somebody, to complain about things. Meet up on a regular basis and use the questions in the monthly progress monitor to keep track of things.
Keep in contact with your supervisor(s)
You probably think it is not a good idea to contact your supervisor when your PhD doesn’t go smoothly. Or perhaps you don’t have the courage to contact them again because it has been a while since you last spoke to them.
YOU ARE WRONG! Especially when things don’t run smoothly, it is so important to stay in touch with your supervisor(s).
Find out about (online) meetings
Figure out how to contact other PhD students, go to meetings of your University’s PhD Association, join an online pub quiz, look out for Graduate School activities. Maybe you can visit a Conference or a Symposium. Build your network, try to find others who are also stuck behind their computer. I can assure you there are loads of them.
Attend a training or a course
Where do you meet other PhD students? Exactly: during training or a course. Reflect on what would be beneficial for you at the moment and find a matching training. For sure you will meet with like-minded people. I can tell you with first-hand experience that support groups and friendships were forged during the proefschriftschrijfdriedaagse.
De proefschriftschrijfdriedaagse is for Dutch-speaking students only, however, if you can find 8 like-minded friends or colleagues I can organise this popular Three Day Writing Course also completely in English. Contact me to find out all the possibilities.