I don’t often do life updates but I figured the end of the first semester of my PhD program would be an appropriate occasion to do so. I should probably get in the habit of doing this more often.
So, I would say I had a fairly unique and easy first semester. Unique, because my advisor was not physically present at the university, nor will she be until next fall. She is on some unanticipated leave so that she can oversee the implementation of one of her projects. Good for her, interesting for me. It means that it can be challenging getting in touch with her on a regular basis.
It also means that I don’t have any ongoing research projects of hers to latch on to in order to get my feet wet and get some experience. This, in turn, creates another challenge for me. The social psychology program puts a lot less emphasis on coursework and more emphasis on research, so I’m expected to conduct a research project my first year and have results to report at the end of the year. So I’m starting to feel the pressure to get something going.
That said, my coursework was very light. I had only three courses and only one of them (my statistics course) had any exams. And I’m pretty sure I did well. Light coursework meant that I had lots of time to read social psychology literature and I love what I’m learning. I’m thinking of starting another blog where I discuss the research I read about. Apparently, it’s a fairly common thing for grad students to do.
In sum, I love being a student, I have a great 1st year cohort, I’m learning cool stuff and, so far, doing well at it. I’m sure it’ll start kicking my butt soon. Next semester I have more, and more difficult, courses, an extra TA assignment and the pressure to get a study done, so I’m sure I’ll be busy. I’ll try to make periodic updates like this one.
Now it’s off to San Diego and Seattle for the holidays!
Just in case I don’t blog again in the next couple of weeks,