The first year of Ph.D.

For HDR students, the beginning of September reminds us that it is time to start preparing for our annual review. As I look back on the milestones I have completed so far, I recall what my first year as a Ph.D. student was like. It was definitely one of the best years. Here are some of the things that helped me create a good start.

  • Know your milestones: Definitely have your annual review in mind, but throughout the year, keep a note of your program requirements in addition to the yearly reviews such as, relevant conference dates, grant funding cycles, school research seminars, and so on. For international students, make the most of CaRST activities which are great places to meet other research students and establish friendships.
  • Keep in touch with your cohort: Through my years as an HDR student, I’ve gotten through all the hurdles to date with the support of the other students. 
  • Look after your health: And I mean your overall health and wellbeing, so that encompasses physical, mental, social, spiritual, and emotional health. Your Ph.D. is not your entire life, it might feel like it is your whole life, but make sure to 
  • Take risks: Remember that your Ph.D. program is an educational journey - you are learning how to conduct research. This is a great time to take risks. Consult and discuss these with your supervisors who are there to guide you. Submit abstracts, hone and grow your public speaking skills, form a study group, and volunteer - all of these enrich your learning life in university.
  • Back-up: Have all your data backed up on both cloud storage and external hard drives, in addition to having them stored safely in the university’s data storage system. *Knock on wood* So far I have not lost any data or writing work, and triple-checking might be tedious, but I’d rather have three copies than none.
“Eat the elephant one bite at a time.”Anonymous


Tagged in What messes with your head, phd, international student, Productivity