Philippa’s blog – 23 September

On Balance

To introduce myself, I’m Philippa, a third year PhD Criminology student.

Although I’m slightly insulated from the upheaval and new beginnings associated with the Manchester Welcome, I can’t help but notice the busyness of Oxford Road and flurry of new students and timetabling arrangements for the classes I’ll soon be teaching.

I’ve had a very busy summer with writing up my PhD and attending three conferences (due to an unexpectedly successful round of funding bids). In July I presented my work at the British Society of Criminology conference in the ever-glamorous Wolverhampton. August took me and my revised PowerPoints to the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control in Oslo, Norway. Finally, and after a very quick turnaround, September was the European Society of Criminology in Budapest, Hungary. Apparently I didn’t take my camera to Wolverhampton (!) but I’ve attached a few shots of me in the latter locations.

Philippa 5

Reading in Oslo’s Hotel Bristol

A spot of sightseeing at the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest

After all this I had both a lot of washing to deal with, but also a lingering and far more disruptive sense of burnout. We aren’t always in control of our timetables and sometimes there isn’t any way of managing high levels of demand other than just to get on with it.

Philippa 6

But, this summer has taught me how very important it is to make sure that I balance my work life with the other strands of my life. Over the last few months, my error has been to prioritise my academic work far too frequently, at the expense of keeping in touch with all my friends and just doing all the other stuff that I usually do.

So, amidst all the excitement and urgency that the new term brings, I’m taking a little time out to make sure that I do catch up with my friends. I’m also investing a bit of my days in going to the gym and getting outside. Balancing our work with our social life and hobbies is a life’s work. I certainly rarely have that balance just right. But, making sure it doesn’t get tipped too far in any direction is going to be my priority going into this new term.

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