At the beginning of 2016, I set myself five new year resolutions specifically relating to my PhD work. Now it is the end of the year, I thought I would review these resolutions and set new ones for 2017.
2016 PhD resolution review
1 Write more – over the course of this year I have written 25 blog posts and begun the framework for each of the chapters/papers of my thesis, including a thorough review of terrestrial time-lapse photogrammetry techniques which is currently 10,000 words long. I think I got this one in the bag.
2 Publish something – not quite, but I knew that this goal would be unlikely to achieve by the end of 2016. I am currently writing the first paper from my work on the subglacial hydrology of Kronebreen, so I hope to be submitting it early in the new year.
3 Continue our time-lapse work at Kronebreen glacier in Svalbard – I went back to Svalbard in May 2016 to install the time-lapse cameras at Kronebreen and other glaciers in the Kongsfjorden area. These successfully captured images over the summer melt season and were collected in September 2016. In addition, we installed cameras on the shoreline next to Kronebreen in August 2016 to capture high-frequency time-lapse sequences of calving events. This time-lapse work is likely to continue into 2017, but I now have plenty of data to finish my PhD!
4 Attend a big conference, along with some smaller ones – this year I attended the EGU (European Geosciences Union) General Assembly in Vienna. It was a fantastic experience and I want to do more big conferences like EGU next year (for more, see here). I also attended this year’s IGS (International Glaciological Society) Nordic Branch meeting in Tromso, Norway to present some recent work from Kronebreen. Much of the content that I presented is on my blog here and it was generally well received. I talked with a lot of people about ideas and I greatly benefited from being there.
5 Take a holiday – failed. Completely failed. Although I spent a week with my parents in their home in Derbyshire during the summer, I still did work. I don’t think a day has gone by this year where I haven’t at least thought about work. And I fear that this will continue into next year as I enter my final year as a PhD student with paper and thesis deadlines looming overhead. All I can hope for is that I find time to take a break and do not panic!
2017 PhD new year resolutions
1 DO NOT PANIC – leading directly on from the previous paragraph, I think next year will get quite stressful at times as there will be pressure to publish papers and ultimately submit a complete thesis. Exercise has largely kept my panic demons at bay thus far, so maybe one of my resolutions can be to find other ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
2 Write more… again – write, submit, publish, and repeat. I would also like to keep up on my blog posts, but this may not be manageable at certain points. Publishing papers is the priority for 2017.
3 Think about what to do post-PhD – I have begun thinking about what I want to do after a PhD and plans have been mentioned. It would be nice to have a more concrete plan by the end of 2017, possibly with a position ready to follow on directly after I’ve finished my PhD.
4 Try and enjoy it – easier said than done. Many have said to me that your PhD is the time at which you get the most freedom in your research as you have few other commitments. So I want to try and enjoy it, despite all the stresses. I have already lined up some trips to St. Andrews and Tromso to work with colleagues, and hopefully other fun opportunities will crop up to make this last year enjoyable.
Happy new year everyone!