With the lockdown, things were at a standstill but as time moves forward, the disease was declared a pandemic, and this turned the story upside down leading to economic instability and uncertainty, students studied from homes, job holders started working from home, government servants are working with risks, every story holds different emotional turmoil due to novel coronavirus.
As the chance of spread of disease is high at hostels, universities decided against vacating hostels by sending students back to their homes before lockdown. Health is a foremost priority than being successful so every student started their journey home. School and undergraduate students have uncertainty about an academic year and the next step of the career to proceed.
With the advent of technology and planning, most of the studies were carried out in online classrooms. Postgraduates and doctoral students have uncertainty about ongoing experiments and the next steps to take. With the initiation of the journey home, the journey of their work was left incomplete and unattended.
One can’t carry out experiments that require labs on online platforms. With the completion of course work, first-year research scholars had a question of research proposal to opt. With upheld experiments, research scholars had questions about taking steps. With the completion of research work, final year research scholars had a question of higher studies or jobs to enter.
With lockdown, many left their experiments half done without data and results. It may lead to the repetition of the experiment. Final year postgraduates aiming for entering into PhD had a fear, “If the cost is repetition, can entrance exam wait till research work completed?” There may be an extension of dates to submit thesis and examination, still fear rules them weather the extended time sufficient to complete research experiments or not. With this uncertainty, insecurity found its place.
Doctoral research scholars who invested most of their lifetime in studies, with the pressure of job and settlement, are now waiting for some more time to complete studies. Firstly, they are having uncertainties of research results and secondly, they are having uncertainties of when to conduct research, the doctoral student has panic regarding the future.
It may seem a little thing when the entire world is in chaos. But there is no such thing called little in emotional turmoil as every life matters. With this uncertainty of life, insecurity found its place which leads to reduced confidence, change in perspective, anxiety, frustration, and depression. It is not extravagant to notice that about 50% of agricultural doctoral research students face emotional instability as per a recent survey.
Being a doctoral scholar, I would like to emphasize one fact that, PhD is not just the highest degree awarded for excelling in one particular subject but it makes a person excel in many other accept of life. Along with imparting complete knowledge on the subject, it inculcates patience and changes perspective to take up challenges in life ahead. In simple words, a PhD can create a new version of a person with strong mental ability and stability.
And such a pandemic outbreak which is out of everyone’s plan and vision should make you stronger than ever. When nature imposes force, one with greater abilities to adapt will survive ahead of all. With fear in the future, one will develop negative emotions that drag away from being successful. With hope in the future, one will develop positive emotions that aids in being successful. Observe your emotions towards the future and replace fear with hope.
To cope up with uncertainties and insecurities, follow my 5R’s formula.
R – Relax: In the busy life of running towards fixed goals, we forget to cater to the needs of our body and mind. So relax when time offers you a chance. More than a chance, it is the only option. Take rest to stabilize your anxiety. Spend quality time with family that feeds your inner soul with immense joy.
R- Revive: In life falling for degrees, we often forget our interests and skills. Utilize this opportunity to restart your old skill maybe painting, scribbling, reading novels, writing anything. Improve your skill. Spending time with passion imparts fresh energy and positive satisfaction to take up new assignments.
R- Re-scale: Once after lockdown, the world may be the same but require more from you. Re-scale your abilities to keep up in the pace of life. Read new research findings, new topics in your subject area, prepare for competitive exams for higher studies or job, practice writing.
R- Rejuvenate: With new energy, rises as a powerful person. The time you spend in relaxing, reviving is the actual investment to rejuvenate with fresh positive energy and to direct energy to the right path.
R- Reinvent: Reinvent yourself to the world with new energy and skills as the fittest will survive in the struggle of existence.
S- Support: Support your fellow mates. There is no such thing called competition in research as every research proposal is best in its way without any comparison, every research scholar is best in their field. And a fellow research mate is like our own family. Support them when they go through impatience and anxiety regarding the future. Strengthen them with your support.
Let’s hold our young hearts with courage. Let’s hope for this pandemic to end soon so we can reunite. Let’s meet under the research umbrella with rejuvenated energy.