It was a struggle and it is a progress not yet done. I was super excited to have started my Ph.D. and so far its been nothing less than I expected except the fact that sometimes I get lost during the Ph.D. adventure. The enthusiastic nature in me has kept me on my feet and I am always curious discover new things. Cutting the story short, below are the 10 main things I have learnt during the first year of my Ph.D.
- Self-Motivation: I have learnt that my motivation is key to the progress of my research. We all have a reason for choosing a particular research area and this should always motivate us. There have been times when I feel tired and confused but I persist in putting so much effort to achieve my goals. It is very important to have passion in ones research work, this will keep fueling the research energy.
- Accept rejections: There were several rejections I encountered, an example is journal article rejection but I have only learnt to work on it better and not to be disheartened.
- Seek assistance: Seeking advise from senior colleagues, lecturers and staff is very necessary. We can’t always assume to find answers without asking the more experienced persons.
- Identifying research aims and objectives: It is important to understand the reason why the research is been conducted, the contribution to knowledge and how the objectives will be achieved. This is major guide through the research.
- Accept new directions: There are lots of times my research was adjusted. An example was when I had to change my theoretical framework, this was a major challenge. Most times, new directions lead to positive results.
- Public speaking: I have never had fear of public speaking but this is one thing I have constantly engage in during my Ph.D journey. It is important to be happy about your research and willing to always talk about it. There are lots of presentations to be done either at the faculty or external events, although they are most times not compulsory but they are very good for personal development. I was always excited to make presentations, which hearten me to present at 2 different conferences in my first year.
- Discipline: Occasionally, I am tempted to spend time on distracting things instead of my research. I have realized that distraction is a tool that should be avoided and can self-discipline is a tool to fight it.
- Literature review: This is a continuous progress, it is important to keep up to date with the literature of your research. You can click on this link for the importance of literature review https://tobioyefeso.com/2020/05/12/importance-of-literature-review-in-social-sciences-humanities/ .
- Confidence: Having confidence in ones research work is awesome, this shows that you are conversant with your research and you understand the direction your research is going.
- Good relationship with supervisors: This can be tactic but it is very important to establish a good working relationship with supervisors.
- Organization: Staying organized is very important, I have always loved to work with a plan and prepare ahead of my days. Therefore, I didn’t find it difficult in organizing my research work. It is necessary to keep your calendar up to date, as there are lots of activities that will be occurring. Having said that, there are different tools that researchers use to organize their research such as Mendeley, Evernote, Microsoft One Note and so on.
- Social and Mental: There is more to life than just a PhD, I usually engage in other activities such as attending moot courts, tea breaks, catching up with colleagues, blogging, visiting places around, going to the gym, watch movie and others. I believe this helps to keep the social and mental health good. As a famous proverb says that ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’.
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I learnt a lot from this post considering the fact that I am also working on a research and it can be very frustrating
It’s so nice to get this motivation and wisdom from a more experienced person like you