This is Zhaoyu Li from China.
I am currently in the last phase of my PhD candidature, writing up my thesis. Invited by the Griffith Graduate Research School (GGRS), I think it’s a good time to share some of my perception and experiences at Griffith University.
I spent my first year and half at the Gold Coast campus. The first day I arrived at Griffith, I was amazed by the massive resource our school provided. I was guided to the Student Centre, where our school tutor helped me to get registered and lead me to the academic building in G01.
I got my work space, two big screen PCs and three big cabinets to store my study items. Then a quick tour of the kitchen, copy room and a public stationary cabinet – soon both of my hands were stuffed with pens, notebooks, paper clips, and post-it notes and even a stapler. Maybe this is not worth mentioning for you guys, but this was the first time in my life to receive something from the school! Not mention the IT service support and library support afterwards! I felt very valued here and appreciated by the great study environment our school offered.
‘Nobody is doing their PhD alone’ – this is the principle of our PhD hub. Another wonderful thing during my journey is that I made lovely friends around me. We are all from different countries, like China, Singapore, Argentina, Thailand, Laos, Sri Lanka, Japan and three are local students. It’s like a little United Nations in our hub!
We show in each other our confirmations and thesis and candidature review milestones (TCRM), to deliver support and discuss with each other when we are feeling stuck. We celebrate new comers, birthdays, graduations, and farewells. I get to know different cultures, different food, and different lifestyles from all over the world!
The most important thing is that I am not alone in this PhD journey anymore. A PhD is challenging, especially when you are doing it in a second language. But I am not the only one – I have seen my friends pull through the whole journey and face greater challenges that I can even imagine, but they still make it! They set an example for me and give me endless courage, perseverance and a love of life to move forward.
I am also very lucky to have wonderful supervisors. They are incredible supervisors and women. I am amazed by their patience, carefulness and rigorousness when supervising me. I have learned so much from them and see the three of them as my role models for my future career. Also, they genuinely care about me and my life.
They encouraged me to try sports to relieve my stress. I have learned swimming, badminton and I even completed a 10 kilometre marathon, which I could never have imagined. They instructed me to keep to a study-life balance so that I feel much more energetic when I focus on my PhD. Now I am working from home due to COVID-19, but I try my best every day to be organised and productive. I have an online meeting on a fortnightly basis with my supervisors, and we are together to conquer the last phase of this journey.
I can say that this experience at Griffith has been so valuable to my whole life. I improved myself a lot in the past three years, got out of my comfort zone and pushed myself to be a better person. Now I am much clearer about what kind of person I want to be, and what kind of life I want to live in the future.
I aim to apply for a post-doctoral position here if COVID allows. I am happy to go back to Australia or travel to any other country in the world. I feel the world is my oyster now!
I believe I have the courage and research ability now to follow other opportunities and be a better nursing research scholar in the near future.