There is no one quite like you. Your PhD isn’t like anyone else’s, you work in ways that suit your unique temperament and you have your own challenges to deal with.

This is part of the reason why you shouldn’t compare progress in your PhD (or life in general) with that of others. They’re different to you.

I say it’s part of the reason because there’s also something more sinister to consider. In this age of social media one-upmanship, your feed may be awash with those boasting of how easy they find their PhD, how great their experiments are going, or how they submitted early, got that prestigious job, had three papers published and raised kids.

Don’t believe any of it.

Whether deliberately or otherwise, people tend to avoid sharing their failures and setbacks. What looks like progress and success on the glossy social-media outside is likely cloaked in struggle, failure and personal challenges. The trouble is, those never get shared. Then, to the outside, their PhD looks far more straightforward than yours could ever hope to be. The result? Anxiety and worry about not being ‘good enough’.

Your challenges and struggles are real, valid and understandable. Don’t focus on what others are doing, question whether their boasts are true, and look inward at your own progress. Understand that social media has the power to mis-represent reality and that it isn’t a good means through which to assess your own capabilities.

Then you can keep doing things your way, irrespective of others.

Good luck.