SGSAH Blogger-In-Residence: The Doctoral Experience—Work/Life Balance

In currently serving as the Blogger-In-Residence for the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities, I’ve had the unique opportunity to weight-in and reflect upon various aspects of the doctoral experience. Via weekly posts, here are my varied insights into this process known as Earning the PhD.

We’ve tackled study/life balance, but what about the great many of us who want to take an internship? Are expected or desire to tutor? Want to continue to build skills outside of academe proper? What about those among us who take a paying job of any sort, for whatever reason, that is unrelated (or tangentially related) but in any case lies beyond the scope of writing a dissertation or thesis?

In other words: what of the work/study-life balance?

Declare a No-Judgment Zone

 

Credit: New Line Cinema's 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'

Before anything else: do not, at any point, feel as if you are required to justify, explain, or apologise for the reasons you choose to work. Likewise, don’t fall into the trap of considering yourself wiser, or more competent/capable than those of your peers who do not hold a position of some sort beyond their programme. Whether it’s because you want professional experience, would very much like to pay for groceries, or because it’s actually quite nice to do a certain amount of work and know you’ll get a certain amount of compensation in a certain amount of time for said work—particularly when you’re in the throes of doctoral research, where the rewards are largely long-term and monetary compensation tends to be fairly scarce: no matter the reason, you’re choosing to work where some of your colleagues may choose not to, and that’s neither good nor bad—simply a difference.

 

(( Read More at The SGSAH BLOG ))

SGSAH Blogger-In-Residence: The Doctoral Experience—Study/Life Balance

In currently serving as the Blogger-In-Residence for the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities, I’ve had the unique opportunity to weight-in and reflect upon various aspects of the doctoral experience. Via weekly posts, here are my varied insights into this process known as Earning the PhD.

 

When you’ve got enough books in your flat to stack them up and make a nice sofa, it becomes a little bit difficult to separate where your academic programme ends, and your “life”—whatever that means—begins. In many ways, by the point we reach our doctoral programmes, we’ve grown to equate the two as a matter of course, but such a status quo is a perfect recipe for fatigue, burnout, and general negative feeling. Why not avoid as much of that as we can? Here are a few things to consider when sizing up your sense of study-life balance.

Consider Location

For some scholars, being in the middle of action is energizing; the library being just a short jaunt from where you rest your head is the best of all conveniences, a veritable paradise for the life of the mind. For others however, it’s just the opposite: never leaving the office, never having any contrast in experience, and setting oneself up for burn-out, and fast.

The solution? Find your happy place. And here, I’m referencing ‘place’ in the literal, tangible sense.

Credit: Disney's "Finding Nemo"

 

(( Read More at The SGSAH BLOG ))