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The University of Southampton
Doctoral College

Welcome change! Easier said than done, and yet…

By Aline Giordano, Doctoral College Manager

To move forward we have to welcome change.

I am paraphrasing a recent article published in Nature, entitled ‘Five ways to tackle PhD anxieties triggered by COVID-19 lockdowns’ by Ashton and Pintor-Escobar.

The article urges research students to think creatively and strategically, under these five headers:

The article invites us to think of the current climate as an opportunity to show resilience.

I too invite you, students, and, us, colleagues, to take this opportunity to explore how our needs and capabilities have been affected. We might wish to do the same with those around us. What are the needs of my family members, my friends, peers and colleagues? What are our strengths? Where am I feeling exposed, over-stretched? What is the environment (physical, emotional, etc…) within which we now need to operate? Self-awareness is the first component of emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence is the one capability that puts great leaders above all good leaders, according to Daniel Goleman (in the Harvard Business Review).

The pandemic has forced us in a cycle of disruptions and adaptations. Now more than ever is the time to remember that your doctoral studies and other projects do not sit in a vacuum, but on your ability to reach out to one another. Use this moment to reflect on what you need from yourself, from others, and the wider University environment as you are moving forward with your doctoral programme. Take this time as an opportunity to explore your growing edge. The Doctoral College and faculties are here to help you with this. Reach out.

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