So it is the first day of your PhD. Maybe you are going into an office filled with other academics and students, an office filled with just fellow PhD students, out into fieldwork, a lab, or a workspace at home. Perhaps you are in the area of physical sciences, social sciences, history, arts, design, education, literature, mathematics, engineering, or medicine. You may be straight out of your undergraduate degree, out of a masters degree, out of working full time, or retired from working. To me, that is one of the interesting things about a PhD, a PhD transcends location, discipline area, age, gender, experience, and culture. Although, everyone has a unique PhD experience, in many aspects everyone’s PhD experience is very similar.
It all begins on that very first day. Likely you will feel excited, apprehensive, and confused. It is also likely that imposter syndrome will be causing havoc in your mind… I wish I could say that it is just a first day thing, but it is not. I will touch more on imposter syndrome throughout this guide.
The first day is the day that it all starts. It is very likely that basically nothing noteworthy will occur on this day. I know that on my first day I was just told to “read about my field”. That is an extremely daunting and confusing thing to be told… where do you start?
But like anything new, it takes time to get into your groove. But get ready, this is the first day of a very long journey.
P.S. You start reading about your entire field on GoogleScholar……
Download this week’s PDF Page for the survival guide- a page for you to write down something you remember from your first day of the PhD or something you want to remember about the first day of the PhD (depending if you have had your first day or not)