There’s no right way to do a PhD.

There’s no magical path down which you can travel or map that will guide you towards the right direction and away from the dead-ends.

There’s no rule-book precisely detailing what decision to take and when.

Instead, you have to pave your own path. You have to go down those dead-ends to realise they’re dead ends in the first place. You have to falter and stumble and have the breakdowns and crises.

But the more you can truly appreciate that there is no right way of doing a PhD, the more you can be kind to yourself as you traverse the PhD-journey, and the more you can see the dead-ends and crises as a necessary part of that journey rather than a delay to its conclusion.

So do what you think is right, don’t let the judgement or progress of others cloud yours, and accept that paving your own path isn’t meant to be easy.

Good luck.