Reflection on Doctorate Journey Part 2: Connection

“Wargreymon. Metalgarurumon. They digivolved together to become… Omnimon!
– Digimon the Movie –

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Side Story:

The heroes, Wargreymon and Metalgarurumon, were outnumbered by countless copies of Diaboromon, the villain.
As they were at the brink of defeat, something strange happened.
Emails sent by millions and millions of children around the world to support and encourage them suddenly engulfed them.
Immediately, both of them were revived and merged with the emails, transforming them into Omnimon.
Omnimon then easily defeated the villain.

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It is said that no man is an island. Absolutely it is true for a doctorate journey.
In what way? I am glad you ask.

Most of the time a PhD student has to work alone.
Yup, that’s the daily routine. Solitude. Isolation. Loneliness.
Being cut off from the rest of the world for most of the journey.
Definitely it is not healthy in terms of mental well being.

A PhD student needs friends, both inside and outside the group.
Three important benefits of friendship in PhD student’s life.

Firstly, the obvious one.
Friends are there for fun.
Doctorate work is pretty stressful and a PhD needs to relieve stress by sharing happy moments with his/her friends.

Secondly, he/she can discuss the project with the friends.
After all, his/her supervisor may not be available for discussion most of the time.
In some cases, a PhD student can only meet his/her supervisor in a group meeting.
Those friends can give idea and constructive criticism before he/she presents the work to the supervisor.

Thirdly, access to instrument.
When I was doing PhD, there were various instruments which I did not have access to use.
Luckily, my friends from other groups were there to open the door for me and teach me how to use the instrument.
Better still, it was not even collaboration project.
And best, if there is queue to use a certain instrument, my friends were to help me cut the queue.

Seeing all these benefits, I am convinced there is no way a PhD student can complete his doctorate in time all by himself/herself.
In addition, I don’t like it when there is politics in the research group.
Instead of shooting each other down, why don’t they just help each other complete their PhD work?

There must be no politics in the lab. Similarly, there must be no office politics wherever I work now.

Connection. Friendship.
It is important everywhere.

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Posted April 21, 2016 by Jefri Yue Fei 吴岳飞 in Doctorate, Thought

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