3 Stages of the beginning of your PhD…aka…OMG what the H am I doing here?

PhD is not a goal, PhD is a journey, and a mighty transformative one at that. That it has different stages is a known fact. However, just the beginning of the PhD has different sub-stages.

The pre-beginning

the admit and preparation to leave

There is fear of the unknown as well as the excited anticipation of new places and people. Specifically in case of Indian students, the flurry of bag packing is accompanied with homemade pickles and snacks.

The beginning

orientation and settling in

The students at this point in time are faced with a bit of anxiety and struggle while searching for accommodation (for overseas universities). There is the factor of being so far away from the family for the first time. Then there also is the undercurrent of being able to manage finances and household chores. A very busy phase indeed.

The post-beginning

where the students settle into their research groups and begin the literature review.

Some may also begin small experiments. There is the enthusiasm of learning a new topic. I remember this being a relatively light phase when the focus was more on learning about not just the academics but also the country and the city.

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