It’s application season! For all of you considering applying to a PhD program we’ve collected advice from around the web aimed at new PhDs. Why not collect advice on how to apply, you ask? Well, because there are other people doing that better. Also, a consistent theme among new PhD students in person and online is that no one really told them what pursuing a PhD entailed. If we could go back in time we would still apply to PhD programs but we might have done some things differently if we had known what doing a PhD required. For instance, personal fit is a much bigger key to your long term success than national, or itnernational, program rankings. It also turns out that it’s hard to complete a PhD if you live in a place you hate or a place that doesn’t facilitate whatever it is you do to relax. But this is a topic for another post . . .

We hope these posts on what it’s like to start a PhD help you make good [application] choices.

This post hits all the big points from managing your advisor to your imposter syndrome.

One of the few advice columns written for a STEM PhD that has genuinely transferable advice for ALL PhD students. We love this column from Stearns Lab.

This column is chock-full of excellent advice to implement on Day 1 of the PhD. In particular, we wish we would have made some citation tool our friend from that first day and taken ten minutes a week to put everything we read in there. It would have saved so much time and trouble later on. Also, BE SELFISH. Make your coursework, all of it, work for you somehow, some way.

There’s a lot of bad advice out there. We laugh so that we don’t cry: Bad Advice.

We are planning to update this pot from Next Scientist for humanities students soon. In the meantime, they really walk you through some of the basics that are easy to forget in the swirl of newness and anxiety.

Go forward, friends, and may our Patron Saint, Our Lady of Overcoming the Odds, Elle Woods, bless you.



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