Advice / Bloggers / Commentary

Starting a new chapter…

This is a guest post by Katie Davis. Katie is a PhD student in the school of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work. Katie also makes up one half of bloggers Twophdgirls.

For many PhD students starting a PhD is not just a new chapter in their academic lives. It can involve a new university, a new city and even a new country!

To begin my PhD, I moved from the rainy metropolis that is Glasgow (which means ‘dear green place’ in Gaelic…honestly!). Having arrived in Manchester only three short weeks ago, I am certainly still settling in and I’ll be honest, I didn’t know anyone when I got here!

You hear over and over again that a studying for a PhD can be very isolating so I made a real effort to get out there and meet people. So here are a few tips for getting out there and meeting new folk…

  • Attend Fresher’s Week – not all Fresher’s week activities will involve getting blind drunk on cheap alcohol with kids straight out of school. Your university might organise events specifically for postgraduate students and they are a great way to meet others in the same boat as you.
  • Go to induction events – Your school/faculty/university will probably have induction events for postgraduate students. Again, you are likely to meet people in a similar position to you and this may be an easier way to speak with people if you’re not keen on social events.
  • Join a society (or two) – you will (and should!) take time during your PhD to have a social life and there is no better way to meet others with similar interests to you. Personally, I have joined the university hiking club and the wine and cheese society (what that says about me, I’ll leave to the psychologists) and have found it a great way to meet new people.
  • Join ‘Meet-up’ or another social networking site. Meetup is a great site for meeting others in your area with similar interests. It’s free to join although some groups may charge for attending events and has everything from walking groups to laughter yoga to beer appreciation events.

I’m keen to hear others feedback and tips on settling into a new city and meeting new people…

Be sure to follow Katie and Robyn’s PhD musings here.


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