The First Two Weeks of my Doctoral Journey

We are off and running with 9 credits for summer school and the start of my journey to an Education Doctorate in Higher Education.

And I am tired AF.

When I share this journey, I want to ensure that I am honest because if someone is thinking about starting this process, I want them to see what it is instead of what we want it to look like.

This week, it’s looked like a LOT of reading, a lot of sleeping, and a lot of adjusting.

Here’s the thing. I have a plan. I am working full-time, and this is a busy season at work, but also for my family as they are ending school, which means lots of events. The truth is that the past two and the next three weeks are full of work and personal events, which means being very careful with my time. At this point, I am just ready for the vacation planned in July, but I have to get through the next month before that can even happen.

The amount of reading required for the summer classes is intense. I have a strict reading schedule because the books above are necessary, and we have articles and research to do.

I travel to Flagstaff each Friday and Saturday for class, which is nice because I chat with my cohort and spend some focused time in class. It does mean 5 plus hours on the road, which last week was so exhausting that I went to bed Saturday night around 5pm and woke up Sunday around 8am. Not too bad, considering Sundays are a rest day, but some definite adjusting needs to happen moving forward.

Here is what I am adjusting moving forward:

  • Choosing one full day that I have no work or school work to do. This will take some planning, but having a full day off is crucial.
  • Moving my meditations to three times a day. I always do morning meditations and sometimes night, but carving out three times a day will help me.
  • Asking for help. My husband is a teacher and is ending his school year. He is super receptive to taking on parts of my workload at home, but I also need to be better at asking. Also, asking our parents and my sisters.
  • Making more time for friends. I had lunch the other day with my good friend who finished her doctoral degree, and besides talking about that, we had a wonderful time just chatting about our lives. Also, it’s a joke with the husbands about how long we will be at lunch. Meals with Shannon tend to go into the next meal…
  • Listening to available audio versions of my readings and ensuring I read for pleasure. This sounds like a lot, but if I can habitually stack my reading with the things I do around my house or while driving, I will cut down the time I have to spend sitting and reading. Not all the books are available on audio, so planning that out is key.
  • Remembering that I am a learner. It’s ok to not know and to be inquisitive.
  • Taking a break from podcasting, social media, and anything that takes time away from my goals. I enjoy writing this blog and consider it practice for the writing I need to do. However, I will post because I want to, not because I feel like I have to.

Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.

Sam Levenson

Thanks for coming along on my journey!

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