Upon entering my doctoral program, I was told by one of my professors that doctoral study is a lonely process. I have never been one for crowds. So while I appreciated the notice, I did not put deep thought into her proclamation. Now in my fourth year of the doctoral process, I have a deeper appreciation for her words.
While the physical solitude of distance from friends and family stings at times, pursuing a doctoral degree for me has been more mentally isolating as I cultivate my academic self. In order to add to the body of knowledge I had to first consider who I am, who I am as a researcher, and who I want to be as a scholar. I encourage others to consider some of these questions before entering a program of study. For me the answers shaped my ontological and epistemological understandings of the purpose and goal of research. In turn, my understanding of my truths has shaped the courses I have taken and the way I frame my research.