PhD Survival Guide; The Slump
*This is a throw back post that I originally published in 2018, when I was in the damn slump*
When I first started my PhD two years ago, I heard whispers about a so-called “PhD slump”. About how in the middle of the PhD journey people want to scream, and cry, and give it all up. I thought it was a myth, something that happens to a few people, something that would never happen to me because I was so grateful to get the opportunity to research something I was passionate about as my full time job.
Fast forward to a little over two years in (& add in a lot of additional stress outside my PhD), and here I am, in the damn slump. Oh, and I’m not alone, most of my office is also in said slump. We joke that you can probably feel the stress when you walk in the door.
I can’t say exactly why we are all here, but I guess it has to do with the fact that a PhD is a marathon, and we are exhausted. Everything takes longer than you think. You have a million and one setbacks. You are tired, and living off caffeine and wine (or maybe that’s just me?). You start to forget why you started in the first place. You can not see the light at the end of the tunnel, and that Dr. title seems impossible.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love my job. I am still grateful to be able to research shark conservation which I love, and I am grateful to get the opportunity to teach, and I am grateful to get to work my own hours. But I am in the slump.
I however, feel like I am maybe, just slightly past the halfway point of the slump.
But for now I want to say, if you too are in the slump, know that all us PhD students end up there, so you are not alone. And start taking some time for yourself, after all our health and wellbeing is the most important. Don’t work 24 hours a day, you won’t be as efficient. And most importantly lean on the village that you have around you.