Monday, 22 November 2010

the 7 secrets of highly successful PhD students: the introduction

about a year ago, i photocopied some secrets from my very close friend in the department, n zawawi. therefore, the credits of this post is dedicated to her (hope you are reading this) and also the original authors hugh kearns & maria gardiner. 


i find this as interesting as the 7 habits of highly effective people by stephen covey which i read a long time ago (long time read: when i was 16 yrs old). the phd secrets were outlined in such a simple manner that i simply use them everyday! i have heard many stories about phd candidatures in the past when my husband was reading his at newcastle university, uk. i was only a housewife then, managing the house chores while juggling with two young boys (which were not easy i must say). different candidate faces different challenges. many have made it with success however some failed (in terms of getting a phd) but not in their other aspect of life. these are among the causes & concerns that i humbly observed these few years:

1. inability to work comfortably and happily with supervisor(s)
the comments are generally:
sv saya scarylaa..results semua nak perfect!
saya dah explain saya buat eksperimen mcm ni, tapi dia x puas hati, nk kena ikut method dia, tp x jd!
tak taulah, students dia yg lain bgtau dia x puas hati dgn performance saya...:(
sy saya cakap, saya punye report ni below par..and etc...
sv saya cek lambat, baca lambat...yg dulu pon dia x bg lagi??

2. unable to locate important journals, data missing, can't configure which methods have been used for experiments and everything related to MIA (missing in action)!
phd candidates normally complaint (including myself):
mcm pernah baca, tapi kat mana eh??
rasa macam dah baca banyak, tp kenapa sikit je boleh tulis/ingat?
tak ingat data letak kat mana sebab tulis atas kertas kat lab hari tu...:(
sv dah mintak minggu lepas, tapi mcm tak sempat je nak buat MALAM ni??!#%^&

3. ambitious (which not all are bad)
normally, we feel like:
orang lain tak pernah buat benda ni, i will be like neil armstrong!
ala...rujukan tak banyak ni, tapi takpe, i will be the first person buat research ni..
tak taulah boleh proceed ke tak ni, tapi malas nak fikir2 dah..carry on jeklaa..

4. so many distractions
i get this almost all the time:
ok, nak buat kerja cepat2, then nak gi jusco kejap...?(*&^%
banyaknye pinggan nak basuh...nantilah baru buat jurnal summary
dateline 2 weeks more, lambat lagi...esok pun sempat buat, blog dululah!! :)

5. i have never taken studying phd like a proper job!! it is studying so i study...whilst, sometimes we forget to be serious about phd...
as a result:
takpelah, buat phd pelan-pelan, janji dapat...
hari ni malaslah nak gi ikea kejaplaa browsing jee...
hari ni takde moodlah nak buat apa2, sv pun bilik member sebelah laa sembang2..

6. studying alone and keeping things TOP SECRET to yourself
we normally treat our research as if:
nobody should know about my research...nanti orang tiru pulak
problems that we faced are so small that we took solutions in our own hands (which could be disastrous!!)
kita ingat orang lain tak tau apa kita buat, jadi, tiada siapa yang boleh tolong kita kalau ada masalah
kita bimbang orang ingat kita tak pandai sebab terlampau banyak bertanya soalan...

7. too much negativity and negative thoughts
most of us normally:
think that we cannot do it
or...what if the experiments fail or too many what ifs...
assume that what we are doing is wrong, or getting negative results are the end of the world
waste time on things that pile negative impacts along the journey towards getting the phd...

i mean, i can only list some causes & concerns which are related to myself although i must also credit all my research friends whom have indirectly contribute to the reasons as above (hence the production of this entry), i thank you girls and guys.. in the next entry, we'll talk about the first secret and you are all welcome to share your views!!


  1. along, saje nak bagitau mizie singgah sekejap di sini, huhuuh

    *link blog mizie tu dah ada yang baru along

  2. hehehe.. moral of the story, kurangkan jusco dan ikea. hehehe...