So I’ve been back at University for nearly two months now and gosh time has just flown by. I’m not going to lie it has been tough settling back in. Getting past the anxiety to go into university and anxiety about getting the work done has been a real struggle. Nevertheless, I am making progress each week and slowly but surely getting there with it all.
My current working week is Monday-Wednesday PhD, Thursday going to Arty-Folks and then Friday catching up on housework, reading, relaxing, seeing friends, whatever I fancy. I have been trying to get into the office to work at least once a week but still find it difficult with anxiety. The first week back especially was really tough. One day I think I spent 10 minutes outside the door crying (I don’t know why) because I just couldn’t face swiping my card and going in. Working from home hasn’t been much easier as I keep getting distracted by my thoughts or give up and start watching Friends. Doing anything else was just so much easier than doing work. I really lacked motivation to do work on my PhD at the beginning of returning to PhD. I don’t know if this was just because I had so much to do and didn’t really know where to start, was just bored, or had no confidence in what I was doing. (EDIT: Read about my switch to part-time on Thriving Part Time).
Anyway, it got much better after I actually submitted some work to my supervisors for comments as it felt like I had achieved something. While I’ve been waiting for feedback on that piece of work, I have started some analysis on an interview transcript. Getting started on that was difficult though as I had no idea where to start. I was very lucky to have a friend who had used the same type of analysis for her PhD (Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis) and gave me some guidance, tips and pointers on where to start. Having made some great progress on my analysis, I feel I have gotten back into the swing of things now and getting a handle on PhD life again!
It’s so nice to be back to working on my PhD again and catching up with fellow PhD students regularly. It’s hard sometimes, really hard, but I think I am ready now for the challenge and I do thoroughly enjoy the work I am doing.
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