For Third-Year Students: This year is all about knowing when to plug in and when to unplug. With two years under your belt, you can not only identify your strengths but are also likely to be able to identify the people and places that make you stronger. Make this year about capitalizing on the connections you’ve made, and don’t forget to add a little something new along the way!
Develop support systems.
After two years in your doctoral program you are likely to have been exposed to both happy and more trying moments. In those moments you’ve probably taken note of who was with you during those easy and hard times, and how they contributed to your experiences. Remember those people, and keep in touch with those who make you the happiest. Some of these people might be in your own research lab or weekly seminar. Others might be friends of friends who are not in graduate school, but manage to force you out of your apartment on a Saturday night on a strict “no-thinking-about-your-research” policy. Whether in your cohort or off-campus, these are the people who get you through. Know who they are and make time to be with them.
Take a vacation! Or just temporarily vacate.
Some doctoral students prefer to save for a one-to-two week trip. Others may benefit more from shorter weekend trips. Whichever way you travel, allow yourself the escape. The more able you are to take a break, the easier it will be to look forward to getting back to work with a clear head.
Reposted with permission from the American Psychological Association’s GradPSYCH Blog.