SECOND YEAR OF MY PHD PROGRAM

It’s been a year and 8 months since I started my Ph.D program. I wouldn’t say it has been easy especially with the global pandemic caused by the now infamous COVID’19. I faced a lot of difficulties in passing through my second phase. One major difficulty was my mental health. I will start this story from the beginning of when I moved into the second phase of my research.

I was supposed to be registered for my second year by May 2020, however, I was unable to register that month. This caused me to apply for an extension. In summary, I registered for my second year by June 2020. This is when my journey began. Due to my late registration, I was unable to meet up to certain deadlines which made me tighten up my buckles. The pressure of my year 2 deliverable was too much and I was battling with concentration. There were lots of distractions/hindrances at that time such as the fear of contacting the virus, worrying about family and friends, no access to the library. To be honest I felt the world was coming to an end, but it wasn’t. I managed to submit my RDDA, which normally entails an agreed plan of you and your supervisors towards the next phase of your research.

Going into my second year, I thought about several conferences, paper articles, seminars and many other research activities I would like to participate in. Sadly, all of them were canceled , however, I was able to participate in online workshops and training that were organized by the university. Examples of workshops I attended are data collection, data analysis, career planning, ethics, research planning and so on. And yes, the 3MT competition I participated in and was able to reach the finalist stage.

These issues aside, my thesis focused on my theoretical discussion and continuation of my literature review. I had a full grasp of my research, better than my first year. I was supposed to commence my data collection, however, my ethics was denied three times. I am literally still on my ethics process and I do hope to get done with it as soon as possible. My ethics was denied due to different reasons such as the vulnerability of some of the participants, travel restrictions, ambiguity of my research questions.

Honestly, my second year was a marathon but I am excited I passed through it. I am looking forwards to commencing my third year and the higher marathon that might come with it.

I am concluding this by using this opportunity to say a big thank you to all my family and friends that have always trusted and believed in me.

Cheers xx

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