The Biggest Challenges Students Face as they Pursue a PhD Degree – 2024 Tips

Undertaking a Ph.D. degree is not an easy task for a majority of students, and many of them end up failing or quitting due to the challenging nature of the program. When enrolling for a Ph.D., a student is expected to do all it takes to complete the course within the stipulated duration and finally graduate with good grades. It takes a minimum of three years to complete a degree, and to some, this time is barely enough time to accomplish everything, considering they have so much to cover. With so much work to do and limited time to achieve it, many students are left drained and stressed, and this might limit their performance. As if that’s not enough, most students have to balance between studies and work duties which is quite tiresome! With the strict work deadlines to meet and academic research work, it is practically impossible to attain a balance!

Additionally, most of these students will have to work alone or with the limited collaboration of other Ph.D. students. This may deny most students the much-needed motivation from fellow students, and they could end up feeling alone and isolated. Below are the most common challenges faced by most Ph.D. students:

Feeling lonely and stressed

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In most cases, Ph.D. students work on their own or with little collaboration of a few persons in their projects if lucky. This is likely to leave them lonely and isolated. Imagine being secluded in your room working on your Ph.D. project, whereas your friends are enjoying a more social life while others are in the offices working in teams! Working together with other students leaves one feel motivated through the sharing of ideas and encouragement. When this is not so, one is likely to get stressed and less motivated. It is advised that Ph.D. students create a team and help each other.

Unfortunately, in this program, most students explore individual and specific areas of research, so it is impractical to team up with people who are not interested in your subject of study. Although they should also be there for one another in order to get them through, the only way they can do this is by encouragement and other support systems. It is even better if they join s clubs that are within their interest in order to associate with others.

Health deterioration

The professors tend to give the students a lot of assignments and projects. With the many obligations as well as the deadlines coming up, the students isolate themselves which causes their health to depreciate because they rarely exercise and some even go as far as starving themselves so as to complete their assignments and projects. These students are likely to end up in hospitals due to not taking care of themselves.

This leads to them missing out on a lot of classes and therefore, they end up taking a lot to catch up with the rest. Going to a gym or even exercising at home and taking meals regularly is advised to keep their health in check. In fact, maintaining good health, mentally, physically, and emotionally, is very important when pursuing this challenging course. It is, however, hard to keep in shape, which negatively affects the students.

Problems with the supervisors

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Students get to have disagreements with their supervisors. One of the leading causes may be due to a lack of proper communication between them which leads to many issues. A supervisor cannot always know what the students are struggling with, and if the students don’t ask for assistance on the research, then the research work may not be effectively done.

The students are then unable to accurately perform their research without the support and guidance of the supervisor. Unavailability of supervisors is another problem that majorly affects the students as students have no one to help them through their more significant research projects. This is usually attributed to the fact that one supervisor is usually assigned many students, and they are required to supervise and guide all of them simultaneously.

Additionally, some of the supervisors only work part-time. It could also be that they are facing health or personal problems. This challenge can only be solved by communicating with the university and letting them agree on the action that would be taken. Unfortunately, due to little or no interactions and responses, most of the students usually realize late into their research that their supervisors are not available.

Poor time management

Ph.D. Students tend to have a lot of work to do but little or no time to get it done effectively. It is necessary for you as a student to know how to prioritize your work if you want to avoid feeling overworked. It is always important to start immediately and ensure that you organize your tasks in order of priority. In case you have little extra jobs available, you can put them on hold until you deem it essential to get it done.

Postponing should be avoided, and therefore one should set out enough time to ensure completion of these tasks. The best way to do this is to come up with a reasonable schedule that allows you to get all your things done in good time. Unfortunately, most of the Ph.D. students lack the ability to properly manage their time which usually has many negative consequences not only on their studies but other aspects of their life.

Lack of institutional and personal support

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Some institutions that provide Ph.D. learning do not support the students. There are extensive programs offered such as mentorship and workshops that tend to help students which other institutions lack. Students in such institutions do not get any help and end up losing their motivation to complete the course. Lack of advice and proper guidance on how to overcome the challenges that they face usually has a tremendous blow on the students, and most of them give up early in the program.

In case you feel stuck or overburdened by all the work, it is essential to seek out professional services from great companies such as Peachy Essay. This team of highly experienced professionals can help you overcome some of the Ph.D. related challenges to ensure that you attain success.

Lack of support from friends, family, and partners

These people may not understand the need and importance of pursuing a Ph.D. and may end up not providing support for the pursuers. It is crucial to keep in contact with the Ph.D. students and to give them the support they need, even though one does not see the worth in it all, as this keeps them less stressed. In the home, such students may not have the peace of mind to study, or they may not even have the sufficient resources that they need to get some tasks done. This is usually frustrating and can lead to dropping out.

Work/life Balance

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As a Ph.D. student, it is likely that you have full-time or part-time jobs at which you are needed to perform at maximum capacity. Whereas you conduct your Ph.D. studies during the day, you may be required to perform your work duties in the evening and during weekends. Trying to balance both tasks can prove to be difficult as many feel overwhelmed by all the activities, which leaves them exhausted. It also takes away the time that you have to interact with family and friends, which can be quite discouraging on your side. With all this going on, it is usually tough for you to attain the right balance that allows you to perform well in all the activities and still pass your program.

From the above points, it is evident that a Ph.D. degree requires a lot of commitment and resilience from the student. Before you think of embarking on this challenging journey, you need to ask yourself whether you are really ready to face the above challenges head-on. It has become common for many students to fall along the way because the obstacles were putting a considerable amount of pressure on them.

But with the necessary help and encouragement from great companies such as this one, your network, and journal clubs, you can easily overcome most of the challenges. Support from your family members, friends, and work colleagues also plays a significant role in ensuring that you perform well. The most important thing that you should keep in mind is the goals that you had set prior to starting the program. There is usually a significant money investment at the beginning, and it would be sad to watch it all go down the drain.