surviving and thriving

Today during class someone asked me how one can survive a Ph.D. program with their sanity and general happiness intact. Some quick thoughts:

1. Study something for your dissertation that you’re passionate about / fascinates you…or else your life is going to be kind of depressing and slow.
2. Write every week day for moderate amounts of time when possible.
3. Don’t totally isolate yourself. Find intellectual community.
4. Find non-graduate school community/friends. Hang out with them. Often.
5. Eat good food, and even better, healthy food. (Like the whole leaf lettuce served at In n’ Out.) If possible, pursue graduate education in a locale with a nearby Trader Joe’s.
6. Exercise. It really makes a difference.
7. Find a really wonderful friend who will make you snacks and tea lattes, make you exercise, cook you a garlic-themed birthday dinner, drink juice with you, always offer to drive, and listen to all of your incoherent thoughts.
8. Help fund a calculus camp. Be amazed that you have friends awesome enough to go to the mountains with their students…and study calculus.
9. Make good friends with a four-year old.
10. Learn to power nap.

My name is Julie Park and I approved this message.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by ji on October 27, 2009 at 4:12 am

    SO TRUE. I am #7 and I approve this message! You should also find wonderful friends who will run random errands with you, organize a political engagement rally, regale you with her random thoughts of the day, and make you more conscientious about the interactions of race/gender/class and injustice… and still remain friends with you after you trick her into going to an H3 taebo class.


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