I don’t know why but somehow these tips are useful, not only for academic journey but also for life in general. So I want to re-type these tips that I found in “A graduate student’s guide to NTU” booklet from NTU Graduate Student’s Club (which I got during my orientation… and I suddenly stumbled upon it when I was searching for some stuff in my room!)
Here are the tips:
1) Expect failure and frustration, lots of it. Get upset, get up, and then GET ON with it!
Many Ph.D students encounter a lot of difficulty when they first start their project. Poor or no results can be common for days, weeks, or even months, and it isn’t happening to you alone. There are others experiencing the same situation.
The frustration may get to you, and you may even feel a little upset or depressed. That is only fair and natural, but don’t give up. Try to learn from each setback, and realize that all the “pain” is part of the process of gaining an expertise in your field. Take a break to reflect, and get back to working on the problem, or discussing it with somebody, anybody.
“If I find 10.000 ways something won’t work. I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every attempt discarded is another step forward”.
Thomas A. Edison
(Inventor of the modern day Light bulb)
2) Keep working on the problem; start small if you have to
It is good keep the big picture in mind and plan far. However, if you are having difficulty with your project, it might be easier to solve it in smaller parts. It is easier to troubleshoot and optimize individual segments than attempting to resolve the whole problem in one go. You may be “crawling” now, but eventually you will be “walking”, and “running”.
“Start with doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
St. Francis of Assisi
Actually, there are still a few more tips in the booklet, later on I will type it here (so I can throw out the booklet :p)!
Hope it’ll be useful!