PhD – give up or go on?

PhD studying is completely different from master’s and university study. At PhD level, you are expected to become a researcher, meaning you have to create new knowledge. Is that easy? Of course not! If you meet someone who dares to clap your chest and say, “This is very smart, what is PhD?”, Congratulations, you have met the most arrogant liar in the world! One phenomenon that many PhD students encounter is “imposter syndrome” – this is the phenomenon that only individuals are always skeptical of their abilities, and always assume that their successes are due to luck, due to Someone help, do..the sky falls, etc. These individuals are also afraid of their “incompetence” sooner or later. Others will find out! At first I thought that only young students could have such thoughts, but I know even very successful students (with many scientific articles), and even new professors can have those thoughts. Many students experience this symptom for a long time, causing research and physical health to be affected. I think the root of imposter syndrome is the attitude that always compares oneself to others. Sometimes I often look at the CVs of my schoolmates and even the teachers in the school. Every time I finished watching their CV, I suddenly thought, “I can never do it like them ..”. But I often compare apples with oranges because I compare myself now with students who have been near the school or the professors have started working !! It was funny!

If you have a PhD, you can get a job … high salary?

The truth is not so sweet .. During the professionalization course, the professor told my class “I and my colleagues sometimes envy our former classmates” looking at the bankers, or working in the fields High salary but a little jealous ”. We also wish to have more money. But when asked if I was willing to quit my job to be another industry, none of us said yes. Although I don’t have a lot of money, but this job gives me the freedom of time, about how to arrange my work, I can pursue my favorite topics again ”. What is the story of my teacher? If you study PhD because you want to check a lot of money, then I don’t recommend it. Of course, I am sharing from the perspective of a PhD student in society, I don’t know what other industries are like. I myself sometimes get jealous of my friends who have proposed fame for money, but every time I ask myself, “Am I going to trade it all for me?”. When the answer is no, I understand that I am on the right track!


Such extreme PhD study, so how can we make our road less rough and rocky? I have only traveled a very short distance on this ten thousand mile road, so it would be arrogant if I said that I fully understood the answer to that question. But please share with me some small “secrets” I learned from myself, as well as learn from my friends, teachers and experienced brothers and sisters. Maybe these sharing will be helpful to you!

Health caring

Since I started studying PhD, I have just understood the phrase “health is all there is.” I still remember the first semester’s sick matches. At that time, there were days when I worked until 3 am, and almost every day I went to bed before 12 pm. I stayed for about 2 weeks .. I was sick. From that time on, I promised myself to stay in good health. I try to sleep 7-8 hours a night to make sure my mind is alert and my mind is always positive. I realized, sleeping had little effect on your mood. It is the enemy of a very optimistic, vivacious spirit. I watch friends around me. The best students, the ones who have the most articles are all very active – love to exercise, love sports, love to explore a world outside of school. Like Mathew, my 3-year-old friend, only one week away, passed the hurdles, but he went to Gym every day or went swimming. Or like Alexis or Isabel, two lovely girls in my class, come together to run or go to the gym every afternoon.

Since I realized the importance of health, I try to walk about 45 minutes a day, eat lots of green vegetables, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep. I find my mood and spirit different, I look at things much more optimistic! Of course, there are days when work is not allowed, but I limit to the maximum the activities that affect my health.

Build good relationships.

Having good relationships with friends and teachers is extremely important for studying PhD less tired. Of course, this is sometimes beyond our expectations! We can only control what we think about others, but we cannot control what others think of us. But since I started PhD, (maybe because the time is too busy or because the academic environment makes me more mature), I only invest in relationships that make me feel comfortable. I like going to the office every day, to both work and chat with people. The feeling of bonding with people makes me feel like part of the research community here, part of this school! Relationships with teachers are also important. I don’t have a specific instructor, but I found a professor with the same interest in research. Me and the teacher tried to meet once a week to discuss the research we were doing, and it was also an opportunity for me to learn from the teacher. I am willing to receive “harsh” comments without feeling “hurt” because only so can I mature in research.

Remember you have a life outside PhD

“Mai, why is this time in the office now? Do you have a private life? Mark told me that on a winter day a few months ago. It has to go to the office and still see me sitting at the computer running data! Its saying made me awake. Yes, I have a life outside PhD too. Since then, I have considered PhD as my job! A job that doesn’t give me much money, but is what I really love to do. Even though I love it, I also need moments .. not working, the moments I have for myself. It is also important to find a hobby outside of research! That helps your life more balanced. My friends, everyone has a hobby. Alexis likes knitting and drawing. Every time you stress, you wear a shirt or knit it with your lover. Isable likes reading novels, and she joins a reading group. They often meet and share feelings about literature. Minwoo is free to go to church to pray, and join the group to help homeless people. I personally like to blog and read novels. I consider these two interests to help me … balance my busy life. Sharing my experiences, thoughts and views through each word makes me happy and happy. I write for you and also for me, for myself!

Give up if you want

Think of PhD as a job, as a career you are pursuing. And because it’s just work, be brave to give up when you’re not .. love, no longer attached, no longer feel right for you. My thoughts are simple: we have only one life, so we have to be responsible for our own happiness. If a job does not give you joy, just give up to find a more suitable job. Whether you just started PhD, or have traveled a long distance, be brave to give up if you don’t see this path as yours. Even though those guys-like-me-like-me-have-ever-“thought bad” you. Despite the disappointment of parents, friends, teachers. Even if someone says anything, say it. Even though … the world turns away from you. Life is yours, and no one can make a decision to help you, OUT OF YOU!

Thank you for reading my confidences to these last lines! Wish you a lot of good luck and joy!

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