General Student Resources

This page should be taken with a grain of salt. For university-specific resources, please see the class tab for whichever one of my classes you may be enrolled in. The rest of this page consists of just general student resources and academic or career advice that I’ve found works well for me. This page is not endorsed by ASU, GCU, SCC, SMCC, MCC, LLNL, LANL, GSFC, etc. etc. these opinions are my own.

In general, remember that college is hard and standards are set high. It is ultimately your responsibility to get help to deal with any issues you have outside of class that may prevent you from getting the work done. Many professors may empathize with your struggles, but your conditions are not a “get out of jail free card.” Some things you can do preemptively, include going to your university’s disabilities resource office and getting any individual conditions you may have on file with the university, and being on top of sending out emails when you do end up with an unexpected event or illness occurring (email your professors or student services office ASAP!).

Procrastination

I struggle with procrastination A LOT (I’m currently procrastinating grading labs AND working on my dissertation by doing this instead). The best description I’ve found is from Tim Urban and his blog. Welcome to the dark playground!

Burnout

The 2018-2019 academic year was a struggle for me. My best friend since childhood passed away in an accident, I had to manage a space-flight hardware calibration campaign, I had to pass my PhD qualifying exams, and I spent the summer managing and implementing an experimental campaign in Maryland. I burned-out very, very badly halfway through the summer experimental campaign and almost lost all of my data to boot. Burn-out is now considered a diagnosable syndrome by the World Health Organization. The sooner you recognize it and deal with it, the sooner you can get back on track. Happy to say I’ve fully recovered from this latest incidence of burn-out!

That COVID feeling

This New York Times article may be helpful for giving a name to what many people are feeling during the pandemic. The term languishing is defined as “failing to make progress or be successful.” In the mental health world, it is characterized by (1) moods that are not too high or too low (you’re not happy but you wouldn’t say you’re sad either); (2) feeling unmotivated more often than usual; (3) feeling unsettled but not highly anxious; (4) difficulty focusing on certain tasks, especially some days more than others. Languishing is also related to malaise: a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or uneasiness whose exact cause is difficult to identify. More than 30 years ago former President, Jimmy Carter, gave his Crisis of Confidence speech in an attempt to rally US citizens to the future problems they would be facing (in particular, environmental destruction and climate change). This speech was coined by the media as Carter’s Malaise speech.

Misc. Helpful Career and Academic Blogs/Books

I 100% specifically do not endorse Cheeky Scientist, though their free resources may be helpful. A lot of career counseling services prey on the insecurity that PhDs have as they are in the process of finishing their degrees and trying to find a job. I promise I will never do that.

How to do Research

Check out this article: https://www.beaglelearning.com/blog/improve-research-skills/

Check out this resource: https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/910043/modules

Doing research

Reading research

Coming soon!

  • How to read an academic paper
  • Figures are your friends

Digesting research

Coming soon!

  • Summarizing research papers
  • Bringing summaries together

Creating new research

Coming soon!

Helpful Resources for Research