Second year arrived quickly, and I had settled into the groove of being a PhD student. I was busy, but I had come to accept my busyness. In fact my busyness had become a defining part of me, for better or worse. I was chipping away at my data collection for my first study and was developing and compiling surveys for study two. It felt as if I had all the time in the world to get these studies done, why does everyone struggle with timely completion I naively thought?
Then my world flipped upside down. Your PhD is overconsuming and it isn’t until you are forced to come back to ‘reality’ of the world outside of your thesis, that you realise there is so much more than a PhD. I found out in the hardest way possible and in a way I wouldn’t wish upon anyone else.
This has become a part of my PhD story and journey, but not the entire story. For me this experience taught me a lot about the world, life, myself, and also that as I said, there is much much more to the world than a PhD. A PhD goes for a long time and undoubtedly life continues during the journey. The good and the bad. The mundane and the big. Don’t let the PhD overshadow all of that.
I took a lot of time off of my PhD during the second half of second year, and I genuinely don’t remember a lot of that time. Then in January of third year I jumped on a plane to experience winter in Europe.
A new life and a lot of the PhD journey was waiting for me back home. But for a month I was not a PhD student. I was not a person who something terrible happened to. I was just Bri.
To be continued…