Dear all incoming graduate students,

Here’s what I wish someone told me when I started.


4th year PhD student 🥰

A thread.


Your PhD is part of your life, not your whole life.

You are a whole entire human being with complex needs / wants / desires.

Live your WHOLE life.


You’ll fail – a lot – and it’s okay. I promise.


It’s okay if you don’t know what you’re doing.

To be honest, some days, I have no idea 🙃 . It’s all part of the process. Trust the process.


Don’t wait: do the things you want to do NOW.

Your entire life will happen around you while you do your PhD. Yes, sacrifices are part of this, but don’t miss all the birthdays.

Celebrate with your family.

Enjoy the things you love.

And do it now.


Sleep. Seriously, just sleep. It’s so important.


Be kind to yourself – because not everyone will be. 

You’re doing the best you can, and that’s enough. It will always be enough.

When you forget, @ me and I’ll remind you.

All of these images were made by the talented @clifton_lewis97.

A PhD takes a village, and you should lean on those around you.

Clifton brought these to life for us, and we hope you can enjoy them 🥰 .

Connect with PhD Diaries on Twitter @thoughtsofaphd and the rest of the academic Twittersphere.

Read more:
Finding Community on Twitter: Why I Plugged In
Professional Success in Social Media
How to Use the Healthcare Hashtag Project to Disseminate Research

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