I had an open house for my doctoral degree and was able to meet with the other people from my cohort. We also met with faculty members who assured us they were there to ensure we were successful and give us a kick in the pants when needed.
During one of the sessions, we received advice on what to do before starting our doctoral degree. For reference, our doctoral degree begins in six weeks, and many of us have decided to complete it in three years.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you are a planner and want to ensure that you have all your ducks in a row before starting all of this coursework. It has been over 18 years since I had last been in graduate school, so I find myself to be a little nervous, and when I am anxious, I tend to over-prepare
However, as we met with our small cohort, the best advice I received was to spend the next six weeks reading for pleasure, spending time with the ones I love the most, and just enjoying life before the program started.
In response, I immediately opened my calendar and scheduled time with family and friends instead of planning all my classes. I picked a few books to read that do not require a lot of brain power instead of ordering books on Amazon about writing, dissertations, quantitative analysis, and organizational leadership. I also blocked out entire days where I am required to do absolutely nothing.
Instead of fighting my natural planning way, I used it to plan rest and recreation.
I learned a long time ago to not fight who I am and instead utilize that to my benefit. I have taken all of the self-assessments I possibly can. I j took time to get to know myself in the year between applying, getting denied, applying to another program, and getting accepted. That time has proven to be so valuable.