How do you deal with isolation in the just prior to write up stage? I'm thinking of volunteering for an hour a week just to interact with some different people.

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I like it :$ but then I am fairly anti-social. I do have a dog though, so I get out twice a day and meet lots of other dog walkers for 10 min conversations.


I liked it up to a point but now I'm craving chat!


I too believe I was Greta Garbo in a previous existence!

Perhaps come on the forum more often for some virtual chats but if you do some volunteering, make sure that you are clear on your availability else it will eat into your write-up time, which chat or no chat, will drive you mad:-s


======= Date Modified 27 Jul 2011 16:13:22 =======
didn't mean to sound flippant; it's just that I live with five other people so crave a bit of me-time.

What about joining a keep fit or dance class a couple of times a week? It would be something to look forward to but would be for a set amount of time and could work as a bit of escapism.

I go for walks [alone!] and often get my best PhD ideas then and wish I had gotten into the habit of writing down these ideas the second I came home. Usually by the next day they're gone:-(. Exercise could therefore work for you on a number of levels - I'm a woman and so am always looking for ways to multi-task;-)

I 'get' your isolation but if joining something isn't your thing, try to make it work for you and get through your write-up as speedily as you can.


======= Date Modified 27 Jul 2011 18:23:33 =======
I didn't think it was flippant! To be frank none of this even matters because there's the rest of life after the PhD anyway.

Well a bit over the top but what I mean is all suggestions are gratefully received, thanks.


perhaps the problem is its not only a physical thing but a mental thing in that your subject is your subject, even if you are with others there is still this big thing (your thesis) that is yours alone. it isn't a subject for general conversation -'what do you do?' 'well at the moment I'm writing up my thesis' is an excellent way of stopping converstion dead in its tracks (but incidentally a very good way of getting rid of unwanted callers on the telephone or at the door :$). Whatever I'm doing at the moment it still whirrs away in the background, I've been known to jot down something that comes to mind in the middle of something else. The people I work with are used to that, some have even asked to read bits of chapters - I'm not sure if they are just humouring me sometimes. Volunteering will certainly get you out of the house as would a bit of exercise and in that way would be good but my guess it is possibly the realisation of the long stretch ahead that is causing the feeling of isolation, but of course in true student mode I must say that i have not produced a questionnaire, or done any case studies, or asked the opinion of several hundred randomised fellow students at the same stage of their research, so the answer is just a personal opinion :-).


Hey Ingenieur! I know what you mean- I'm right at the end of writing up (a week until submission) but I've been working from home a lot over the last 2 months rather than the office. Sometimes I get through a whole day without speaking to anyone (apart from maybe a 'thankyou' to whoever swipes my gym card) and when I realise I've literally not said more than one word to anyone all day I feel quite sad! I think it's important to get out and about and see people- volunteering is a great way to do that but you do need to be really strict about how much time you offer. To be honest, even something as simple as half an hour on the phone to a mate cheers me up, or you could meet with a friend for lunch? I've not had much time for evening socialising for a while now (since it usually stretches into several hours!) but you have to have lunch anyway, however quickly, so it might be a good time to pop out? Best, KB


Time management is the key. If you manage time badly then you spend a long time working and have no time to meet/talk to friends. If you make sure you work hard for say 8-9 hours a day then you have the rest of the day to meet friends/do other stuff.

Easily said I know, but true none the less. Volunteering sounds like a good idea to get you out and about. Good luck with the write up!