Introducing Thrive PhD
When I was working on my first dissertation chapter, I had a revelation, but not of the dramatic, fall to your knees sort. It was two days before the chapter was due to my advisor, and after pushing myself into an unhealthy rhythm of being anxious all day until I was in a frenzy state, and then writing in a sort of fog, I was tired and not making much sense. I felt sick to my stomach, but I emailed late at night suggesting a new deadline for turning in the chapter, about two weeks later. I went to sleep, mulling over all the ways that I had failed, and then received a curt, one line email back, agreeing to the deadline push back.
It was then that I first realized that my deadlines and my work were mostly important to me. My advisor was invested, sure, and my committee as well, but the deadlines were for me. This was freeing (no one cares if I have to move them back!) and terrifying (no one cares if I move them back!) because deadlines were my primary accountability mechanism until that point. Deadlines had gotten me through all my schooling up until this point. They got me through exams, through my prospectus, and then suddenly, my deadlines were fuzzy. I needed new skills, I needed to learn how to work without fear of deadlines being my primary motivator.
Suddenly, I found myself learning all sorts of new things:
- How to manage my own time, setting schedules, and deciding priorities
- How to set appropriate goals, and check in on my own progress
- How to manage a complex project, including funding, timelines, and outside help
- How to balance my multiple, and often competing, obligations to teaching, professional development, and writing
- How to manage my professional development in an increasingly complex job market environment
- How to take care of my body and mind so that I could work at a consistent pace for several years
- How to communicate with my advisor and committee about what I needed to succeed
- ....and about a million more things!
Introducing Thrive PhD
Thrive PhD is a supportive community for graduate students, featuring accountability, skills building, and support launching in April 2018. We are working to create an affordable option for graduate students who are looking for support and community.
Here is a sense of some of the topics we'll be covering:
- Self assessment
- Project management
- Habits and routines
- Research and writing skill building
- Building a mentorship team
- Crafting a teaching persona, both in class and in job documents
- Working inside and outside of academia
and some of the features of the community:
- Weekly coaching calls to monitor progress and troubleshoot problems
- Personalized privacy levels - share as much or as little about yourself as you'd like
- Accountability threads - celebrate your successes and get support through the challenges
- Video resource library, along with live discussions with experts
- Chat features, between members and with coaches
...all at a price that won't break your budget.
We'll be launching a beta in a matter of weeks, and if you'd like more information, please sign up for our mailing list. Have something you think we should include in our curriculum, or a feature you'd love to see? Contact us!
Until then, watch this space and others to learn more about what we're planning - all to help graduate students navigate the increasingly turbulent PhD waters without losing themselves, their health, or their sense of fun, in the process.