I suffered, like other scholars during my PhD. The daily grind of moving to various classes and getting exposed to innumerable new things and experiments and procedures in the lab was no less than suffering. Sometimes the journey became so overwhelming that I felt in needed inspiration to continue further. I started to look at the testimonials and experiences of other PhD scholars and scholarship holders. Their struggles and approach made me feel one with them and gave me the insight to look at the problems in a different way. Here are some useful and inspiring experiences which can be eye-openers for struggling scholars:
Accepting failure as a platform to rise:
Like most of the PhD scholars, my prior education stamped me as the smartest kid in the campus and I was thought to be the perfect choice to pursue PhD. Getting a research scholarship further added to my feeling of superiority of intellect over others. But in the PhD journey, I was no longer smart. Better put, I was no longer smarter than others because everyone around me was equally smart. From being a smart fish in the earlier pond, in this new pond, I was similar to all other fish. One way was, to allow to lose my identity in this pond among all scholars and sink in a mode of self-pity. I had started to walk on this track but then I realized that failure is the part of the journey and one important lesson for any PhD scholar is to accept that he can lose to and to progress and achieve something, he would first have to fall down. I got used to saying, I don’t know, become more comfortable with asking for help. Both academically and otherwise, I found myself getting into a more comfortable zone and in no time I learnt that successful PhDs aren’t the ones who know it all but the ones who refuse to isolate themselves because falling is the fastest way to rise.
Taking back the control of your life:
The loss of control in PhD is because almost always the ball is in someone else’s court. Even if this is true, just by the change of perception, it is easy to control the situation in a better way. You have to find gateways to take back the control of your life and that is what I, Nathen decided to do. Being an ace scholarship holder, it became too difficult for me to accept that all decisions of my life were dependent on the approval of others. The ordeal is the same for all scholars and I found the way to find out alternatives and options that would help me to take back the control of my life rather than getting overwhelmed. PhD is all about persistence and consistency of effort that is the mantra for success.