"Studying for a PhD is a lot like dating..."
Studying for a PhD is a lot like dating.
Both require a great deal of commitment, time and effort… and regardless of how much you enjoy it, it may not work out.
Naturally, we find the people who connect with us the best are most likely to become our date, or even partner. Similarly, I was also searching for my partner - a PhD research topic!
I remember how I spent time consulting professional opinions from current academics and attending information sessions to explore what to do. After fixing my eyes on a particular research topic I initiated my pursuit. First, I put forward my proposal to express my desire, and provide the intended goals and outline the steps I would take. I was not sure whether I was good enough to be accepted, but on the other hand, my PhD proposal seemed convincing enough that I would make it.
Finally, I received a ‘yes’ to my proposal! The relationship was established! Just like the early stage of dating, when you start a PhD it can be like a honeymoon period, filled with passion and excitement. Every book, chapter, and journal article I read helps me develop more understanding of my ‘partner’.
I love what I am researching and I’m confident that I’ll make it to the end. However, after a while the passion runs out and reality takes over. At this stage I begin to doubt whether ‘he’ is the one for me. I doubt whether my passion for my research topic is sufficient to sustain us. I doubt whether we will be happy together. So, I have thought about giving up but people say ‘Things are not that bad yet’ and ‘Try a little harder’.
I really don’t want to give up but I am struggling every day. What shall I do?
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