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How did I finish my PhD on time?

Posted by ryan corpuz on December 9, 2017 at 11:00 PM

Honestly, finishing Ph.D. is not a walk in a park. It requires dedication, time, money, psychological, mental and physical toughness, and the willingness to be detached from the social world for a while. In my case, this plight cost me a lot. Along the way, I lost two important persons in my life, my grandmother last May 14, 2016, whom I promised to take on a free trip once I finished my degree and my father just recently (November 4, 2017) who died after I finished my degree. As of now, I am still coping with my lost psychologically and mentally. But I am positive that these too shall pass. Instead of dealing with too much drama, I am fighting my gloomy days by writing a blog like this, listening to music and doing some productive activities such as reading and learning Japanese language and do some physical activities to shred the fats which I gained from my three-year dedication to science.

In pursuing Ph.D., the first thing to consider is of course yourself. Know yourself well. Is your academic performance suitable? What are your goals and priorities? Is doing Ph.D. a necessity to what you want to achieve? If not, then what I can advice is for you to find avenues which precisely reflect your core values or else you will just be disappointed with the amount of time you wasted. Ph.D. is not the way to become rich if that is one of your goals, better to become an entrepreneur in such case. Ph.D. does not guarantee employment opportunities nor a road to fame and riches. In fact, there are a lot of poor and unemployed PhDs nowadays. Rather, it is a lonely road where most of the time you are alone with your own mind. No wonder that there are so many cases of mental breakdown and psychological trauma reported elsewhere in connection with Ph.D. If you are not brave enough alone, then this path is not for you.

After self-reflection and assessment, choose the university where to pursue your Ph.D. and ask for the necessary requirements (entrance examinations, TOR, recommendation letter, published papers, language proficiency results, resume and etc) and available scholarship for your Ph.D. application.

After preparing the necessary requirements for your application, the key step is finding the boss /adviser/ supervisor/ mentor. Usually, universities have a webpage for respective laboratory wherein you can browse and find their contact information especially emails. This step is crucial, so be prepared. Normally, your application and overall success of your Ph.D. largely depend on this key person. Have a healthy relationship with your mentor.

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