My PhD Journey in 8 Pictures

I am Lina and I like pictures. If asked to introduce myself to a group of academics, I would say: “I am Lina and for my PhD thesis I explored how children engage with wordless picture books.” Given my love for visual stories and my PhD topic, I hereby succumb to a temptation I always had in mind: to summarise my entire PhD life in 8 pictures. A complete thesis for the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge is equivalent to approximately 80000 words. Based on the famous saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”, for the sake of this blog post, let’s equip images with even more power and try to visualise a four-year PhD experience.

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Tips and Tricks for PhD Students: The #PhDlifehack

This week a new cohort of PhD students is about to embark on their doctoral journeys in Cambridge. Although this is surely an exciting time, filled with many hopes and expectations, starting a PhD can also feel scary and overwhelming – How should you organise your work? Are there any tools or strategies that could be particularly helpful in staying on top of things? And how do you build good professional relationships during the PhD? With some of these questions in mind, we asked current PhD students and academics for advice and encouraged them to share their best #PhDlifehack with us…

If I Were to Do My PhD Again …

Before 2011, I had never thought that one day I would choose to do a PhD. But I did it! I have not suffered from ‘Permanent Head Damage’, though it is true that I find it a ‘Probably Hard to Describe’ experience. What I hope to share with you are some of my thoughts when I look back on my journey 2 years after my PhD viva. I am not going to talk about the sacrifices that one has to make or the hardship that one has to endure (C’est la vie! Life is like a box of chocolate, and…

A Poetic Reflection on a Cambridge PhD

Chesterton Road, 2014 It’s hard for me to write a sentence which conveys all the things that I feel For what seem like an importance is a bit hard for one to deal. “tread softly on my dreams, dear professor” for it is fragile and soft, “tread softly on my wishes, dear professor” for it needs to be kept aloft. Keep me grounded, however, to remind me of reality, Keep me grounded, however, so I don’t lose focus in its entirety. Being in this city overwhelmed me, but at times it gives me peace, though the thought of it scares…

The Intersection of PhD Life and College Life

As storied and unique as Cambridge is, its collegiate system is perhaps simultaneously the most baffling, interesting, and worthwhile. Particularly as a foreigner, I had little idea how to go about selecting one, or what would come with being a member of a college. I was originally bemused by this system and thought little more of it than an idiosyncrasy of an eight hundred year old university. It was after my arrival that I came to understand its value and appreciate what it had to offer. On the surface, the colleges each provide accommodation, dinning facilities, pastoral care, and various funds…