This is the first of a multi-part series developed with Jessica Montoro, a fourth-year doctoral candidate in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan. Jessica studies how cultural and social class factors influence Latinx youth and college students' ethnic-racial identity, ethnic-racial socialization and school/college experience. Several of the topics discussed are specific to pursuing a Ph.D. at a research-intensive institution and in a full-time, fully funded program. With that in mind, a “dialogue” is shared between an advisee (Jessica) and her advisor (Debbie) to provide two perspectives on a range of different topics. We don’t claim to have these figured out, but we think these posts could be used as springboards for conversations between mentors and mentees.

#1: It's not a part-time job. It's a lifestyle change. (Isn’t it?)

Advisee: Gone were the undergrad days of dedicating a couple of hours to your homework, pulling an all-nighter, and still getting that A. In my experience of graduate school at a research institution, it is expected that your research projects should take precedence over pretty much any other life priority. How much of a priority your research is varies by research advisor, doctoral program, department, and institution (so talk to current students!) Whether or not you are answering an email from a colleague, running analyses, or collecting data, your research will seep into every domain of your life. Every. One. I have found that this includes in the shower, while washing dishes, or working out. Ultimately, pursuing a Ph.D. can feel like a 24/7 job and you should ensure you are prepared (or at least aware) of this reality.

Read the full article at Psychology Today.