Fad or not, I think that the work Brené Brown has done on vulnerability is interesting and useful. The PhD student journey has been described quite like a roller coaster with many dips and peaks throughout the three years. I am grateful that I have formed really encouraging social and scholarly connections with the other PhD students in my Faculty. We are able to be there to support each other through the different highs and lows in our candidature. Most of the time it’s just us reassuring each other enough to get through to the next step and motivate one another to keep going.
Sharing individual difficulties with non-critical others help us feel that we are not alone in our struggle. Also, when we connect with other PhD students, we tend to realise that we share many similar experiences. Talking about our frustrations help us gain insight as to how we can re-frame our problems and better work through them and accomplish the task at hand. Most often though, we find that all we really need is an empathetic ear to listen and remind us, when we forget for ourselves, the reason we applied for this program in the first place.
‘I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.’
‘There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.’
‘Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.’