At the best of times, PhDs can be lonely, isolated places.
During a pandemic, when you’re away from your peers, labs, fieldwork or supervisors, that isolation can become more acute.
Over time, that isolation can manifest itself in a number of ways. One thing we start to miss is the feedback and approval of those around us. The less we interact, the fewer opportunities there are to bounce ideas around, get informal feedback and hear what others think of what you’re doing.
I know from my own experience that such feedback is crucial. Without it, our inner critic – that little voice doing its best to convince you you’re not good enough, or failing, or haven’t got what it takes – can begin to grow more powerful. We can start to doubt our abilities.
With it, we can grow in confidence and start to silence that inner critic.
So during this pandemic it has never been more important to actively seek out the feedback of others. Whether it’s informal chats over the phone or on Zoom, or sending written work to supervisors or mentors, it’s important to actively seek out the opinion and views of others.
But it works both ways. If you’re feeling isolated, chances are others are too. Take some time to reach out to your PhD peers and remind them of how great they are.
Good luck and have a great week.