I’m now into my second week of my PhD; and there has been an information overload! There have been so many new log-in details, names, room numbers and IT systems that my head has been constantly spinning. And, most significantly, I have made friends and am no longer sat by myself being weird in the cafe, trying to pretend my large group of friends will be appearing any minute. I’ll confess, last week I sat alone on my phone in the cafe (like all other people my age), but instead of checking Facebook, I was reading a brilliant book on the Russian Romanov dynasty. Y’know, like all the cool kids do.
Over the past week, I met with two of my supervisors. I had been incredibly nervous for this meeting, thinking that I would be expected to have a definitive view of exactly where I was going to take the research. I was wrong entirely! They were incredibly supportive, telling me to focus on settling in over the next few weeks and starting to read very generally in the area, before narrowing in at a later stage. For me, this means reading around the area of copyright law and becoming confident in the field as a whole before looking in-depth at film copyright law. Then I’ll begin the dreaded literature review, but we haven’t talked about this in much detail yet.
We also discussed some other things I could do to help my research, including sitting in on some film industry lectures my supervisor teaches, to give me a grounding in the area. They also mentioned that they would like me to assist in seminars next academic year, which I am absolutely delighted about! So I’ll be going to lots of their film seminars this year to see how it’s done, watching lecturers who I hugely admire.
A few days ago, we were also shown our desks, which are situated in two large offices designated for PhD students. It was a proud moment: I started to feel like a real postgraduate researcher, and not just an academic imposter who has fluked their way on to the course. Sitting with other PhDs has been incredibly interesting, as I’ve been able to hear much more about their research topics. This is one of the clear benefits of studying on campus, as opposed to via distance learning, as you hear snippets of conversation that either relate to your project in some way, or are on a completely different topic (and therefore I’m sure a welcome relief from your topic if you seem to be getting no where).
And now, I need to start reading the 6 large law textbooks I liberated from the library…