Phd Tips

What have I learned about research?

Dear Geeky scientist!

You are in the first year of your thesis and you feel so lost and overwhelmed?

Is your subject very ambiguous for you?

Every day you go to your laboratory but you still feel that you are not moving forward?

Well well… Stay with me and do not panic!

You should know that this is totally normal! Yes, indeed a very very normal daily life of a PhD student! The thesis preparation process is not like any other project that you need to prepare, set up and “boom” deliver. It’s a complicated and typical program the you have to pursue, and while you transit from one stage to another, you will be faced to varied levels of complexity.

Basically, when you pick up a field of study and go for it in your first year, it always feels hard to start adapting to the whole situation. You firstly become concerned and ask questions like: what should I do now? Should I read a bunch of research papers? How many? How can I make a summary of these articles? How can I get to the problem definition ASAP?…

It is this exact situation that the majority of students face. The problem here is that, many of them start feeling lost and unbalanced, they think that they will never be able to define their project problematic and feel like reading many articles but without really benefiting from them.

When you go through the Ph.D. process for 3,4,5 to 6 years, then you definitely encounter many challenges, issues, ups and downs.

The PhD life is not as easy as it seems, you know why? Because it simply has not only an impact on your career as a researcher, but also on your way of thinking and on how you will start processing things in life.

Through these lines, I am eager to share with you my modest experience as a researcher in computer science.

Have you ever questioned yourself as a researcher about what you have learned precisely through the way? No matter how many years you have spent or how much you went to your research lab or even how many hours you have been working on your thesis?

You will definitely have an answer no matter what! I know this for sure!

This philosophical question is not the real issue here, in fact, researchers have always the opportunity to learn new things every day!!

When you are present in a thesis defense you will learn something new, when you talk and discuss an issue with your colleagues you will learn a new thing, when you are present at conferences and seminars you will definitely learn new things, when you just “exist” as a researcher, well this means that you are always learning new things!

If your answer to these questions is no! Then this means that you are not a real researcher.

✵A researcher is someone who has the ability to take the data, analyze it and get meaningful information from it! This concerns any field of study without any exceptions.✵

When you start working on states of the arts and review papers, you begin building your ability to read different and various papers. Here, you are preparing yourself to the process of taking the data and converting it to an information flow.

When you get yourself to learn an important flow, you will by then start building your ability to the analysis.

What I wanted to clarify precisely with this combination is that, you always get to learn something as long as you process the ability to analyze it!

Through different PhD groups on Facebook, blogs or other social media talks, you will surely get pissed off, while reading PhD student quotes. Why? Well, simply because they send negative feedback about their process and never get to talk exactly how much they have learned through the way! You have no idea, dear readers, on how much you are able to learn new things, just by reading and analyzing!

But when you read a lot of complains, negative feedback and demotivational thoughts, you just need to get away from these kind of people!

I believe that each one of us should direct the negative thoughts and believes about the whole situation into positive acts.

☛ Instead of mourning about the research situation in a specific country, try to find an internship abroad by all means!
☛ Instead of blaming the supervisors, enjoy being creative and propose a new approach with the help of the “worldwide research community”!
☛ Instead of criticizing the country’s phd employment rate, do your best to publish quality papers and master your specific field of study to shine among many others!
☛ Instead of procrastinating about not having the time to do research, or not having enough money to move forward, act as quickly as possible to do freelance work as a part time and move to the action!
☛ Instead of giving too much time into thinking about the whole situation JUST DO AND ACT!

Because you will know, that how much time you are taken while mourning, criticizing or procrastinating you will be drawn much deeper into it and it will get much harder to get back to reality.

Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in installments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day’s success.” by― Israelmore Ayivor

I wish you my best luck!

Written by: Fadoua Khennou

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