A brief introduction of myself. I’ve taken a 6 months LoA after the first semester. I was not coping well with multiple things, eg. lockdown, rearrangement of my project, some personal things. After being back, my work has been received some good feedbacks. However, it went off track afterwards and my depression is back again. I’ve posted here and so grateful for all the advices and encouragement. My first priority now is looking after myself. Therefore, I’m going to take another time out to reset my mind again.
I’m thinking to take this opportunity to reflect and review. Lots of doubts in my own ability (self management and project management), my career path planning (one of my mistakes is I didn’t have a clear expectation of a PhD. Have no idea about what’s next), plans for organising my project.
Would you have any suggestions or ideas on how I can use the extra time wisely? Have you ever taken a LoA and what did you experience? Thank you for your insights!
I think you are doing the right thing and taking the time to reset. I took an 11 month "Disruption of studies" which sounds similar to your LoA. Though I used my time to work on an external research project but I think the break helped me with my PhD. As coming back after a break let me reset my emotions towards my work. I had gruelled during a lot of my PhD and that emotion had slipped into my impression of my PhD, I could only see flaws and not achievements. I don't know if you will be similar, but for me the painful emotions faded far faster than the actual work.
So my advice is, don't think too much about your PhD. Find something that isn't too stressful to keep yourself occupied and reset emotionally. In 3-4 months when you might be in a better a place you can re-approach your PhD with a clearer mind.
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