Things I’ve learned so far in the dissertation process

So far:

  • progress isn’t always linear, but that still requires putting hours in every day; somedays feel like zero progress, other days are filled with momentum
  • ask Stata for help (help reshape)
  • actually, ask everyone for help, advisors, professors you know, phd friends, etc.
  • interdisciplinary research can make you feel deficient across subjects (“am I citing enough economics??”), but bringing together multiple disciplines will definitely give way to unique insights
  • #EconTwitter is, in fact, very helpful and can keep you up to date on new research on your topic and the field in general, and also help make some professional connections (I’ve made several great ones!)
  • find your conference (someone else very smart actually told me this one)
  • read for fun, not just on your topic.
  • write down all 8000 of those next research questions
  • version control!!!! +date all of your files
  • it’s okay to not have the “perfect” model or findings; just prove you know what to do with what you’ve got
  • work through all of those feels about research and writing; keep a log where you “warm up” by reflecting on possible challenges for today’s task and then  “cool down” by reflecting at the end of the day on how you are tackling your challenges and next steps
  • drink 500 beverages a day at your desk and stay hydrated
  • go outside every few hours
  • “always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper”

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