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What Motivates Ph.D. Students To Keep Going

When it comes to obtaining a Ph.D. or professional doctorate, many students may find themselves faced with unexpected hurdles and challenges. This is not uncommon, as the process to receive such academic achievement is a rigorous one that differs upon each individual's own experience. This process and the amount of time it takes to obtain such a degree depends upon many factors catered specifically for each student. Each internal and external factor surrounding one's experience, along with what type of research is being conducted, may contribute to delays. Based upon research conducted from the Survey of Earned Doctorates, it can take some students up to 5.8 years to complete their programs, and in other cases, much longer.


With such obstacles, some candidates may find themselves looking for a light at the end of the tunnel. Why does this research matter? Are these struggles worth it? Michelle Barner McKee, J.D., a woman working towards earning her Ph.D. in General Psychology with an emphasis in Cognition and Instruction at Grand Canyon University, has shared her "why" with The Scholars Editing Group. Michelle explains that the reason she has pursued higher education in the past and future is for the ability to help others. She relies on her children and her faith to grant her support. With a goal to offer free legal service with her law practice in Ukraine, Michelle has full-filling goals to better the lives of others.


Michelle describes how her relationship with Jesus has given her the strength to move forward in her studies. When talking about her long-term goals, she adds how important it is to stop and smell the roses, instead of racing through the hurdles of life. During the process of obtaining one's Ph.D. or professional doctorate, it is important for the individual to recognize that things may not always move as quickly as they originally planned, and that is okay.


Although this journey of higher education is an extensive process that requires an immense amount of dedication, the ability to see one's hard-work come to fruition in the end is enough to make the challenges and long nights worth it.



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