Whining and Dissertations

December 26th is National Whiners Day. People celebrate by whining about overeating on Christmas, having to go back to work, or the long lines for returns at the stores. Doctoral students have a whole litany of special dissertation complaints to whine about. So, it’s time to get your “Waaaah!!!” on!

Here are the Top 10 Things Dissertation Students Whine about…

  1. I can’t come up with a topic.
  2. I was just assigned a new chair/committee member (again).
  3. I don’t understand what my committee wants.
  4. I can’t find a gap in the literature.
  5. I’ve been working on my dissertation for (fill-in-the-blank, many months), and I’m not getting anywhere.
  6. I don’t know what i’m doing.
  7. I’m not motivated.
  8. I don’t know what to do now.
  9. My student loan debt is insane!
  10. I feel frustrated, confused, lost, and alone.

But, do you know the one complaint that I never hear?

No one ever says, “I can’t do this.” And, that says a lot.

At the beginning of this post I mentioned that December 26th is National Whiners Day. This distinction was created by Rev. Kevin Zaborney in 1986, but he had no intention of encouraging whining. In fact, he wanted to encourage people to be grateful what for they have.

And, the fact that I never hear folks say that they can’t do it, tells me that you have hope. You have faith in yourself and confidence in your ability to overcome.

So, on National Whiners Day, think about what bothers you, confuses you, frustrates you about your dissertation. Go ahead and whine about it. It’s OK. That’s what today is for…

Now, get it out of your system and figure out what you’re going to do about it. For many people just recognizing the problem for what it is brings a great sense of relief. For others, finally identifying the problem points the way to the solution.

But, if recognizing what you’re whining about isn’t enough, if you need additional guidance, direction, and support, click here to schedule a quick, 15-minute chat with me to see if you’re a good fit for our Fast Track Your Dissertation Coaching Program. If you are, then I’ll invite you to join the fastest group of dissertation students out there and help you to reach graduation a good year or two faster than you would on your own.

If you need extra support and guidance to make it to graduation, I may be able to help. If you'd like to find out whether you qualify for the support we offer throughout the dissertation process, then...

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Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.

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