More than once I have asked this to myself: What is my reason to do a PhD? What motivated me to get onto this never ending journey of challenges?
All the doctoral scholars I have met, have asked themselves these questions. I have come to believe, this kind of apprehensive feeling is quite normal for scholars. In fact it is a great feeling I think as asking this question to yourself, is a means of introspection to gain a better understanding of what we are doing and why are we doing it?
I have often thought about my answer to these questions in my life and every time, instead of a very concrete answer, such as, as great job, better salary or any other material target I have always had an abstract answer, “to be happy!” my small little accomplishments during the PhD programme, such as paper presentations, publications, sharing experiences in seminar. However, my mental state has not be the same all the time and I have faced existential crisis a few times in the course. In my times of crisis, I have been blessed with advices such as, “You have a rare opportunity and you must benefit potentially from it.”
I am sure, as a research scholar, you must be having your dark days and bright days. At times you would feel that there isn’t any light at the end of the tunnel but do not forget that there is a reason for you to be in this programme. And you do not have to be bogged down by the challenges, rather be grateful for the life changing opportunity you have to do this PhD programme.