It is a culture for Ph.D. scholars to move away from a social life during the course of the programme, at least at one time. With so many deadlines approaching and the pressure to perform at varied platforms, so many times in the tenure of the Ph.D.; often scholars live under the psychological pressure and guilt to not have fun, and socialise else they would be doing injustice to their effort.
I completely condemn this approach. Rather it is the most serious mistake that a scholar can make during Ph.D. Remember that this study isn’t a small race, it is instead a marathon which will go on for some crucial years of your life. If you decide to stay away from fun and socialising for this period, you would not be able to sustain with productivity for a long time as staying in isolation with no fun and enjoyment can start affecting your motivation and emotional health after some time. You need to divert your mind off work, at regular intervals so that you don’t lose your friends and your relationships, as with time everyone moves on with life and you would get left behind. Because of a Ph.D. programme, you would lose time, money and friends, all of them.
A successful life is a life of balance. You cannot do extreme of one thing and then expect to sustain. You may still survive, if you are perseverance is good, but you wouldn’t surely progress. It is important to fit in breaks of socialising, meeting friends, moving out so that you can draw energy from the universe and use it to bring in results in your research work. You may not agree with this theory because when you are out with friends, having fun, on a surface level, you are just simply wasting time and not doing anything constructive. But in the under current, your intellectual, emotional and psychological self is getting refreshed and the cells are getting recharged to perform again to the best potential.
This usually goes against the norms that are set by the society. We usually are expected to dig ourselves into our books before an exam, stay in isolation and study till there is no time left. But the most productive way is, to maintain balance and find time to do things that you love and recharge your cells.
So, now as a scholar, dread from the thought of bring a loner. A successful scholar is the one who knows how to balance it out.