What it means to not be alone: A Thrive PhD Update
Thrive PhD has been in beta for five weeks now, and soon we are opening up our doors for another five week cohort. I have learned so much about the platform, how best to run it, what kinks need to be worked out, but something magical was happening while I was focused on the nuts and bolts.
Thrive PhD started to work. Users started to support each other - check in, comment, ask questions, offer suggestions. Language shifted from "I had a really awful day where I did nothing" to "I had a down day but I managed to get the house clean and the cat fed, and I'll try again tomorrow."
Here are some of the takeaways, from my perspective as a coach:
- Graduate students want to feel less alone, but it can be so hard to reach out. Fear of looking behind, fear of being perceived as not committed, few or no structures to support the uneven path of the PhD all keep students from reaching out.
- Disciplinary differences aren't the barrier we think they are - the experience of being a grad student has much more commonality than disciplinary specificity. Plus, everyone is smart and capable of understanding programmatic differences!
- Even those who are "fully funded" and work full time on the dissertation struggle. Everyone has a hurdle. Everyone has a life that pulls them away from the work. Assumptions about how much everyone else is working can destroy your motivation, and most of the time aren't true.
- Grad students, by design, wear a lot of hats. Researcher, writer, student, teacher, mentor, colleague....and we ask them to wear more hats all the time to fully prepare for a diverse range of job options when they finish. Very few spaces value all of those roles, or provide support for all the things graduate students DO on a daily basis.
Here are some of the things that users are saying about the experience so far:
"I really like the feedback I get every day. It feels nice to be reminded that even small accomplishment are accomplishments and part of our academic lives."
"Thrive PhD has been exactly what I have needed, particularly coming into the last year of my PhD. It has given me the community, accountability and advice I have spent so much time looking for, all in a safe and caring environment that focuses on celebrating the positives."
"Thrive has helped me reflect on several aspects of my PhD journey. It has been a tool for accountability without judgement. The articles and posts are always thought-provoking."
"Thrive has provided a space to learn useful tools while also providing reassurance that you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed during your PhD."
"Daily accountability posts are so helpful in evaluating where I am and where I want to get to. Katy is always there with a thoughtful response guiding us to find the things that work best for us!"
So what's next for Thrive PhD?
Mark your calendars because Thrive PhD launches for real in mid March 2018. Our first cohort starts on April 2, running for the next twelve weeks 3 months of accountability, group coaching, small group support, curriculum, and resources, for less than $100. Keep your eyes peeled for where and when to reserve your spot!
What happens after you finish the 12 week course? Glad you asked! You get the option of graduating to Thriver status. Instead of making you sign up for every cohort as it launches, you can keep all the benefits of Thrive, INCLUDING the accountability posts, (slightly less frequent) coach support, access to curriculum, and live events for $15 a month. Cancel when you need to, because you GRADUATED!
Can't wait until April? Got you covered! We still have a handful of spots open in the second round of the beta - click here to get more information about all the bonuses you get for being part of the beta, too!
We also know and respect that paying for any kind of support is a commitment, and we don't take that lightly. So we have committed to sending out free resources and information to support you on the PhD path every week in our newsletters. Sign up here!