3 Ways To Make The Most Of A New Experience

Before I went to University, I never imagined doing a Master's degree. Once I finished my Master's Degree, I had no intention of pursuing a PhD.

And yet, next week, I'll be starting my part-time PhD in Education with a focus on higher ed organizational development and student success. Like many people who are about to embark on a post-secondary journey in North America, I attended orientation:  a part of the transition process into a new academic program.

This is a period in which new students meet and learn from educators and administrators about what to expect, which resources are available to them, and how best to prepare for the upcoming academic journey. It's like job training or on-boarding in a workplace setting.

It felt surreal to sit on the receiving end of these sessions because up until a month ago, I was working in Student Life delivering the same key messages to cohorts of incoming students (hence, the picture below).



One of the speakers shared 3 valuable pieces of advice about how to make the most of our upcoming experience. I wanted to share them with you because I think that they relate to life, not just to a PhD:

  1. Work hard and don't take what you're doing lightly because you're about to do something that matters;
  2. Apend time trying things and getting involved in your community;
  3. Enjoy your time.

I loved hearing these three statements because they're simple, meaningful and speak to a process that leads to transformation... I believe that belief + action + social support + happiness = transformation.

I also liked the advice because I didn't think that I'd hear it from an orientation to a PhD program. I was expecting to hear something like : "Work your ass off and publish, or drop out now!"... So happy this wasn't the case! ;)

So, if you're about to begin a new academic, professional or personal journey, consider designing a plan to build social connections and to spend your time and energy in personally optimal, meaningful and fulfilling ways. Does this apply to you? Let me know in the comment section below.

If you need any help as you transition to something new, feel free to contact me for a consultation to see if I can help you.

Those are my thoughts for the week.

Much gratitude,

David Ip Yam