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Obtaining Your Doctorate Degree and the Importance of Community

When it comes to the rigorous process of obtaining one's Ph.D or professional doctorate, it is not uncommon for students to feel stranded and isolated by their struggles. In fact, the majority of graduate students report experiencing a sense of unanticipated anxiety triggered by their mounting studies. Due to the preconceived notion that developed during the experience of obtaining a bachelor's or even a master's degree, the unexpected road blocks that arise during graduate school can take some students by surprise.

Although these obstacles seem difficult to navigate at times, a sense of community and camaraderie can help guide the student through these tumultuous times. In the most literal sense, the word "community" refers to a group of people living in the same space that possess a common factor in relation to each other, such as a neighborhood. The type of community one chooses during graduate school may not just adhere to guise of a relation of distance, though. This type of community reflects that of a multi-tier support system, ranging from the student's fellow peers, family members, services such as The Scholars Editing Group, or even their local hairdresser willing to lend a listening ear. Even though the backgrounds, ages and lifestyles of students obtaining doctorate degrees in a same program may differ, their shared experiences and challenges are enough to create a sustaining bond that allows for leniency and support.

Collecting academic research and compiling writings towards a dissertation is a process that is not as seamless as just "doing the work." Changes of committee, ambiguous feedback, rejection to the outside factors of life such as pregnancy or a death in the family may unexpectedly hinder this process, but these challenges certainly do not have to be faced alone. By allowing oneself to accept the support from those around them, the hurdles that come along with obtaining a doctorate degree can become less daunting, which in the end, can make the world of a difference.

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