Can we work around a holiday plan for PhD scholars? Where would it leave their work? Well, when I write this, I am on my annual leave as a PhD scholar, ironically. But I would also like to insist and say that it is working because of my supervisor. She has encouraged me to take breaks as long as I informed her well in advance and did not do it at the cost of my work. With her encouragement and clear discussion with her, it worked for me. But like how I said, it worked only because of her. Read between the lines. You get a holiday, if your supervisor thinks you need a holiday. How do we generalise this? We cannot but surely we can generalise the ways in which we can keep the bosses happy. After all, they are bosses for that stipulated tenure.
Having a supervisor, who is flexible and accommodating, I surely afford holidays and even if you are on a similar pedestal, do not forget some important, unsaid rules and regulations. You may get a break, but it needs to be a process. A step by step, informal process! Let me explain this better:
1. Always ask your supervisor your entitled annual leave.
2. Take her opinion on the most suitable time to take offs, so as to ensure that you wouldn’t do it at the cost of your work. Remember, this is critical and may affect your relations with her n a great way.
3. Know, or try to know, your supervisors leave schedule.
4. Ensure, commit and do finish all decided work before you zoom out into another world. Else in the eyes of the supervisor, it isn’t any less than a sin.
5. Whichever alien world you are into, remember there is an alien waiting you in another world that should know where you are and should be able to contact you. Yes, we do dislike our supervisors having your contact details on holidays, and fear them spoiling the mood, but we got to give them that right, privilege. If you are as lucky as me, he won’t disturb you on an official break , unless an emergency.
6. Do remember, there are some department formalities that need to be completed to avail the entitled holidays. Don’t leave any of that incomplete. In your absence, your supervisor is answerable for you and putting him in an awkward situation is outing your degree in one.
So in all, doing a PhD, gives you the right to have a normal human life. Live it up with some caution. That’s it!!