On the Times Higher Education Student Twitter feed (@THEUniAdvice, if you aren’t already a follower), we have spells where we ask students to look after the account for a week to share their university experiences.
This week we had Olly Bowling, currently studying for a PhD in homelessness and begging at Heriot-Watt University. The twist is that he still lives in Leeds and instead makes the 185 mile trip to university once a month to check in with his supervisors and connect with fellow PhD students.
Studying for a PhD is challenging to begin with, but studying long-distance for a PhD throws up a whole new set of unique challenges.
Check out some of the tweets below to see how Olly balances his work and travel and check out the rest of his journey on #UniAdviceWeek.
This week PhD student Olly Bowling from @HeriotWattUni will be taking over the THE Uni Advice twitter, talking about what it's like to do a #PhD. Follow his journey using #UniAdviceWeek pic.twitter.com/UUk6Y6J5Yb— Times Higher Student (@THEUniAdvice) December 11, 2018
Today I'm travelling from my home in Leeds to Edinburgh for uni. I make the journey roughly once a month for training, seminars, and to meet my supervisors. If you have any questions about what impact this has, please ask #UniAdviceWeek pic.twitter.com/ZQmdFyOZHX— Times Higher Student (@THEUniAdvice) December 11, 2018
4 hour trips to uni require planning and motivation. It can be frustrating but I plan what to do on the train to make it time-efficient and productive. Today I took time to revisit the classics #UniAdviceWeek pic.twitter.com/ADeugq7Veg— Times Higher Student (@THEUniAdvice) December 11, 2018
Another great couple of days at @HeriotWattUni. Distance learning can be difficult but it concentrates the best parts. A constructive supervision, interesting seminar and chance to socialise with PhD and academic colleagues #UniAdviceWeek— Times Higher Student (@THEUniAdvice) December 12, 2018
Productive meetings with a PhD supervisor are crucial. They can also be quite dense; I record mine as well as take notes so I'm fully engaged during them, and have something to refer back to in the future #UniAdviceWeek— Times Higher Student (@THEUniAdvice) December 13, 2018
Top tip for the day: don't go to the library without your laptop charger... Especially when your laptop has only got 3 hours battery time left! #UniAdviceWeek— Times Higher Student (@THEUniAdvice) December 18, 2018