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Tuesday, 22 January 2019 at 11:26am
Tuesday, 22 January 2019 at 1:29pm
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Thread: Better to be very emotionally invested in your PhD or maintain clearer emotional boundaries?

22-Jan-19, 12:39
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posted about 1 year ago
I think it's really difficult - especially when you're conducting a PhD that you have designed and found funding for yourself - to not get extremely emotionally invested in your PhD. I'm always seeing the attitude that as a PhD student you have to throw yourself entirely into your studies and 'live and breathe' your work. The same attitude also often dominates at post-doc, ECR, lecturer levels and beyond. But with such high levels of mental health problems in academia, is this not an attitude that we should be striving to change?

In my experience, having such an extreme emotional investment in your PhD can be really detrimental to your overall wellbeing and mental health. It makes it nearly impossible to switch off and every trip along the PhD journey feels like a severe personal hit. So many people that I've spoke to agree, but what is the best attitude to adopt instead? Is it better to treat a PhD more like a job and maintain a greater emotional separation? Can you still excel in your PhD with that mindset?

I'm really interested in hearing some views about this! Do you treat it like a job? How do you manage to maintain boundaries? Or do you think that you absolutely should be extremely emotionally invested?
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