Across the globe, it is true and acknowledged that all of PhD students spend or rather waste the first year of their PhD sitting in the library in amazement, feeling over whelmed about what on earth should they be doing further in their course. Ironically, the subsequent years of the PhD is the time, when they regret, wishing they had put that one year to more productive use. And the sad part is that when you are ready to enrol, nobody warns you about this time in the first year being crucial and getting wasted. Like this, in the subsequent years of the PhD, the felling loneliness, lack of funds, stress are some of the things you may not get warned about, unfortunately.
Supervisors who are empathetic make sure they guide, warn and at the same time equip their scholars with the right kind of survival tips. If you are not the one who has been guided well by the supervisor, here are few handy tips:
Self-Motivated Time Management(Right in the beginning): The department in which you are pursuing your PhD, right in the beginning may give you a broad time frame regarding your main submissions and the duration in which the activity may be completed, but how would you go ahead with the step by step journey is up to you. PhD won’t happen without self-motivation and efficient time management. The sooner in the course you know about it and adapt to it, the better and faster are your results. Somehow, most of the scholars learn it much later when a lot of time has already been wasted.
Good assessment of supervisor (Right in the beginning): Tutors or supervisors can be of varied types. The most dangerous are the ones who do not want to help you because they might not have received any help during their formative years. The important thing here is to assess the temperament of your supervisor in the initial phase of your course so that the kind of communication you need to build with him can be figured out and your expectation level from him is correctly established. Scholars who take time to figure out the temperament of their supervisor feel that they have wasted a lot of time putting efforts in the wrong direction.
Avoiding the comparison trap (right in the beginning): The department may have scholars of varied categories. Some may tell you that they have it all sorted out for them and their progress is at par with the expectations of their supervisor. There would be another category, telling you that they are not able to do anything worthy and feel stagnated and left behind. It isn’t good to get inspired from either. Most of the time, you wouldn’t know who is saying the truth and who is trying to cheat you. The best and safest approach is to know your pace and stay away from the trap of the pace of work of other scholars.