What do depression and the PhD process have in common? (This is not a setup for a joke. I’m sorry.) The answer, as I came to discover recently, is their tendency to force our attention towards new questions; questions that are unexpected, overdue, crucial for our development, and illuminating in their own way, even when … Continue reading On questions and questioning
PhDs are relentless, and they can obviously be very stressful. It's a good idea to take a break regularly. As my therapist said, you have to rest before you burn out to avoid burnout! So here are some ideas for decompressing days out near the main HEIs of Scotland, going north to south. If I … Continue reading Take a Break!
This guest post is by Perin Westerhof Nyman. Perin is entering the fourth year of her PhD in the School of History at the University of St Andrews. Her research considers the use of dress as a political tool in the Scottish royal household, particularly during the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. She also works … Continue reading Changing Direction
This week has been quite intense. It's been a Deadline Week. This is the face of a man who's just submitted a chapter draft. And seen a fly in his tea. Those of you currently researching for a PhD will know what that means. It means stress, it means sending work to colleagues for proofing … Continue reading The First Deadline.
I can’t believe my time as SGSAH blogger has come to an end! Tomorrow I’m passing the torch into the capable hands of Jimmy Johnson, and I’m really excited to see where he goes with the blog! I’ve spent a lot of time reading posts written by my predecessors, and it’s incredible how diverse a … Continue reading Reflecting on blogging
Learning when to say ‘no’ is something of a fine art. It’s something that a lot of people struggle with in their daily lives in general, but I think the struggle is equally, if not more, applicable to PhD life. From personal experience, I know how hard it is to say no to both requests, … Continue reading Learning when to say no to yourself and others
For a long time, my self-care has been an afterthought, and it felt like things were just happening to me, rather than me making anything happen – like I was in the ocean with waves crashing over me, but I wasn’t swimming (I love a good simile). I’m not sure how or when even I … Continue reading Taking self-care seriously
Being a postgraduate tutor has been one of the best things I’ve ever done, hands down. I was so nervous when I was offered my first classes, teaching medieval literature (from Old English riddles to Chaucer and Henryson) to second year undergraduates. As is typical for me, I ended up spending a lot of time … Continue reading 4 things you should know about being a postgraduate tutor
This guest post comes from Dr Clare Edwards, who has recently completed her AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD with Glasgow Life at the University of Glasgow. Clare's PhD investigated the emergence of cultural policy in Glasgow in the decades leading to European City of Culture in 1990, based on archival research and oral history interviews with key decision-makers. … Continue reading How to complete your PhD when you’ve got more difficult things to deal with – and how your PhD can help
I recently read a comment about the stress of a PhD, which personally hit me to the core: “If you’re emotionally unstable or vulnerable, it’s not a good idea.” This was me, 3 years ago. Or in fact, 5, 8, or 10 years ago. I’ve lived with depression, anxiety, and OCD for a decade of … Continue reading Starting a PhD with existing mental health problems