Just sharing with you guys some of the many lessons I learnt during my PhD....add more if you have any....
1. Better call your guide before you go to meet him/her. Have an appointment, fix a time according to her convinience coz chances are that even if you did call her beforehand you might have to wait and you will be left guessing and asking everyone else where she is. Imagine you get up early, get dressed, planned everything and realized she’s on leave or she’s taking class the entire morning session, or that she has to attend meeting the whole day. You will feel shitty, right?
2. Use a notebook for your entire research. It is easier for you to refer later. That way you save precious time and your poor brain isn’t left confused and guessing as to where you have jotted down some important lines.
3. Do NOT get addicted to any kind of game or social networking sites. I am addicted to candy crush and I am paying the price.
4. Do not forge the results. If the result is non-significant, so be it. Field works are meant to be done at field and not at the comfort of your room. Get out, apply sunscreen, keep your pepper spray ready and go out and rock the field. We really need cool, smart and inspiring youths in the field. I know of people who filled the questionnaire in the room, data analysis done by boyfriend, slides prepared by fiancé and research paper written by the guides and published in journals. Kinda makes me lose faith in published works.
5. Keep your patience and temper in check.
6. Do not be disheartened if you have burnt the midnight oil and you put forth all your work with so much expectations and it is being dismissed with the wave of a hand.
7. Working with excel is fun, do your data analysis yourself, learn the right way of doing things and above all go for multitasking.
8. Ignore the rivalry, the hypocriticism, cynicism. Don’t let negative energy influence you.
9. The guide is ALWAYS right…you are lucky if you get someone who is flexible.
10. Try to push your way through in the most polite manner.
11. Respect is earned and not forced.
12. Always carry a book or have a game installed in your phone so that you have something to indulge in while waiting….coz cumulatively counted i think the time you spent in waiting is a zillion times more that time spent discussing your research.
13. If your parents, boyfriend/girlfriend or friends are visiting find a valid reason for you not showing up…..one of the many times where lying actually works if your guide cant understand your predicament.
14. The better the conference, the better the food.
15. Conference is not just about food or visiting new place and making a fool of yourself like many of us. It can be a good learning experience.
16. Not submitting your PhD thesis just coz you have no idea what you gonna do after your PhD and surviving on your scholarship is a huge gamble.
17. Nothing sails smoother during PhD than having a group of friends who are helpful, smart and equally clueless about the future as you are.
18. Guys are intimidated by girls who are pursuing PhD.... So even if I always claim that intelligent girls are enormously sexy, if you are pursuing PhD and still single..lets face it...not every random guy is gonna ask you out before thinking twice. He is a keeper if he stands by you even if you are spilling over your frustration to him or yelling at him for no fault of his. Marry him girl coz you're never gonna find someone like him again. Just like Marilyn Monroe says...if he can't handle you at your worst, he sure as hell don't deserve you at your best. ;)