Anything can be more fun when you turn it into a party… Including your dissertation. Readers of Six Months to Doctor and my clients know that I am a strong advocate for groups. Writing groups, research groups or even overall dissertation groups can be very helpful. Having a group that you have to face every week to share your successes or seek advice from is great pressures you to work. Not to mention to vent after a horrible review from your advisor. As great as these groups can be, they must carefully selected and monitored by each individual to ensure that the group meets their needs and is positively contributing to their progress. When that step is not taken, some students can find themselves in a group that is counterproductive. Having the camaraderie of working alongside someone even if the research projects are completely unrelated. When you have scheduled library sessions or writing sessions scheduled you will show up. On the other hand if your team members are not as serious about it, not showing up on time or doing the work that they were supposed to do, that slacking habit is contagious and you can catch it. To minimize your risk, the assessment of the group’s fit for you should be ongoing. If there comes a moment when you realize that your membership in this group is no longer helping you progress, then make your exit while continuing to seek out supportive resources elsewhere.
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