The influx of online doctoral programs over the last 10-15 years has been, in many ways, amazing. Online programs have given doctors-to-be a better chance of finding a specialized degree, studying at their program of choice, and optimizing their time and resources (think of never having to rush from work to school to home - class is just a few steps down the hall). Overall, having a program that includes an asynchronous component has proven to be a positive influence on stude
One of the biggest challenges many doctoral students face is maintaining motivation and drive in the face of negative self-talk. Self-talk (your internal monologue) is an important area to monitor because what we think about is what we are most likely to create and/or become. This is especially relevant when examining self-talk because self-talk is most often negative. “Well, that was stupid”, “Why’d I do that?”, “I’m never going to get this” … When looking at this in relatio
Somewhere along our doctoral journey, we all wish we could be more productive. But where do we start? For the purposes of this article, let’s start with a few givens: · Productivity is about working on the right things (effectiveness), doing them in the best possible way (efficiency) and enjoying the process and outcomes (fulfillment). · There is a formula for being productive. Miss one element, and productivity goes down; hit all four and you will experienc
It seems like, regardless of where you are in the process of earning your doctorate, there is always stress over selecting a research topic – and for good reason. Good research depends on many factors and having a good idea for a research topic is not enough. You can have a brilliant research topic, but the quality of your study will depend on your execution of a well-thought-out methodology; an average idea well-executed is much better than a brilliant idea executed poorly.
Spring term is traditionally the season of defenses (whether it is a proposal defense or final dissertation defense). So, naturally, it is also the term when doctoral students tend to have the greatest crises of confidence. But here’s something to think about: Confidence is nothing more than the belief that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. Confidence, then, comes from within – so you can create more at any time. Being confident doesn’t mean you’re always comp
Choosing your dissertation committee may be one of the most difficult (but crucial) decisions you have to make as a grad student. These people will be working with you throughout the dissertation writing process and are the ones who will essentially decide whether you earn a doctorate or not. Your dissertation chair will play a major role with your project, so it’s important to choose someone with whom you can work. Different schools and/or programs might have different guide
Yesterday, I took my son to his first baseball practice of the season. He’s 7-years-old, so he’s played a few seasons and – like most boys – is much more interested in hitting the ball as far as he can than anything else. So, it came as no surprise when he walked up for his first at-bat and swung so hard and ugly that he spun himself out of his cleats. From behind the fence, I reminded him, “I don’t need you to hit it hard – I need you to make contact. Power comes later. Get
Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, unease, or worry that typically occurs in the absence of an imminent threat. It differs from fear, which is the body’s natural response to immediate danger. Anxiety is feedback from your mind/body telling you that something that requires your attention. It's a built-in survival-based mechanism. But anxiety becomes a problem when you don't address the issue or take charge of your mind and emotions. If you've been feeling anxious, here are a
One idea that seems completely foreign to grad students – and doctoral students in particular – is that there is nothing wrong with looking for the “easy way”. We are taught early in our lives that hard work is good work, and that easy things are inherently bad/wrong/less valuable. It makes sense, then, that many doctoral students believe the dissertation-writing process should be hard (painful, even) and sometimes make the dissertation more difficult than it needs to be. We,
Self-care is an ongoing task. You can’t just “do” self-care one day and say that you’re good for the next few months. Instead, you should integrate self-care activities into your routine and make them a reward for accomplishing your short-term goals (whether your goals were related to research, writing, or anything else). Start by listing all your regular responsibilities, in addition to your school work (this will allow you to look at the full demand being placed on your tim
Three truths all grad students should remember from someone whose made it through to the other side. Regardless of where you are in your masters or doctoral program, it seems that everyone (at some point) could benefit from remembering a few basic truths – so here are three truths from someone who has made it through to the other side: You are smart enough There will be times during your program that you’ll feel overwhelmed and uncertain. “Was this a mistake?” “Can I do this?