Wellness, Productivity, Balance for Graduate Students and Beyond

Thrive PhD Testimonials: Healthier, Sustainable Ways Forward

I joined Thrive at the beginning of my final year of grad school. At the time I was about three quarters of the way through data collection, and in the early stages of drafting my dissertation. I had really struggled with the flexibility (read: lack of structure) around my program and this only seemed to get worse as I moved from the proposal/confirmation stage to fieldwork. When I joined Thrive I felt that I was struggling to make progress, that my days weren't productive, and that I was incapable of following the plans and schedules I developed for myself to get the work done.

When I joined the Thrive community, I was particularly looking for a way to build some external accountability into my day - my favourite part of Thrive is the daily accountability check-ins. I expected that I could force myself into getting more done each day by harnessing the guilt and shame I would feel if I didn't meet the goals that I shared with my accountability group. What I didn't expect was that Thrive would be a kind and compassionate space where people could share their daily grad school struggles and triumphs. Thrive is a place where I can celebrate wins every day, whether big or small. Katy and the Thrive community have taught me that celebrating what I have achieved each day is a much healthier, sustainable and effective way to build momentum than berating myself for failing to cross every single task off my to-do list.

I've also found the weekly curriculum posts incredibly useful. Through these, I've discovered a range of new approaches that I can take to my work. Thrive is a place where I can try out those different approaches in a curious way. Being able to reflect on this process with regular feedback and guidance from Katy has helped me to develop a set of different approaches that I know work for me. Through the daily accountability posts and weekly curriculum posts, Thrive has helped me learn to be realistic about what I can achieve in a day, or week or month. The daily feedback that Katy provides has been instrumental in this. She always offers thoughtful advice and helps guide Thrivers through those tough days (and sometimes even tough weeks or months). With Katy's help, I was able to realise that just because I didn't get everything done today, it doesn't mean that I didn't get anything done today. Eventually I realised that the way to progress is to keep showing up and, for me, Thrive is a place where I am supported to keep showing up.