Many students I speak with say something like, “I made straight A’s in my courses, so why can’t I get my prospectus approved?” It’s a common, and frustrating, circumstance. One reason is that classes are time-limited, you have colleagues to help, and you have one instructor. The dissertation process is just the opposite. There is no time limit, it’s a solo process, and you have a chairperson, a committee, IRB, and university reviewers (all of which don’t necessarily agree upon the best approach).
So, what is a student to do? I think acknowledging that the dissertation process is very different is the first step. Self-care to sustain the marathon process—school-life balance. Getting support. Not taking things personally. Careful editing (pruning is often helpful in the process). Staying motivated. Acknowledging and addressing the emotional exhaustion and depersonalization that may accompany the dissertation process.
Here are signs of burnout:
If you agreed with any of these statements, you may be experiencing some level of burnout. The Mayo Clinic recommends the following:
Help is here. Learn more about the type of confidential help available from our company by scheduling a free consultation with me. You can schedule here. Stay motivated. Graduate.
James Lani, PhD
A partial list of students’ Universities we’ve helped:
We work with graduate students every day and know what it takes to get your research approved.