Before I came into my PhD study, I did some research to know exactly the expectations of being a PhD scholar. PhD study certainly needs research skills such as critical thinking, effective reading and scientific writing. However, I’ve encountered some words related to non-research attitudes, namely ‘braveness, resourcefulness, perseverance and endurance’, etc, during the study. Hence, those words became the keywords of my PhD stages.
I could put those words in order like this:
Before apply PhD: ‘braveness’
First year of PhD: ‘resourcefulness’
Second year and third year of PhD: ‘perseverance’
Final year of PhD: ‘endurance’
I learned that doing a PhD is not only to gain a degree, but also a ‘heroic journey’. It must be involving a strong heart and mind to win the ‘battle’. I just could suggest you to read ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho to understand the philosophy of the ‘heroic journey’. I’ve been inspired by the story til I could describe my PhD stages in four words.
Anyway, any important journey needs good preparation. You cannot just jump into the battle without good strategy. This what I mean by preparation. You must learn and make strategies to be able to face the challenging sequences during the ‘battle’. There is no straight way to overcome it. Or, otherwise it is going to be a ‘cheap’ battle, because we could easily conquer it.
What I did during my PhD few years ago, was not just to interview my lecturers, Professors, friends, or senior colleagues, but I also attended many workshops on how to do PhD, and consulted many books on ‘How to get a PhD’. There are many books that can help us to understand the nature of PhD study. It is a long term under pressure situation with one final goal of thesis submission. Hence, the interviews, workshops, and books are very useful to help me design the strategies. I didn’t want to face the challenge without knowing what to fighting for. Although it was a difficult and stressful journey, I was glad I have overcame it eventually.
It feels wonderful.
Well, just to remind us that success is described as ‘when the opportunity favors only the prepared mind’. Again, we could see that ‘a good preparation is essential’.