This is part 2 of the "Things No One Told Me About" series (see part 1), developed and co-authored with Jessica P. Montoro, a fourth-year doctoral candidate in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan.

Just as a reminder: Several of the topics discussed are specific to pursuing a Ph.D. at a research-intensive institution in a full-time, fully-funded program. With that in mind, a “dialogue” is shared between an advisee (Jess) and her advisor (Debbie) to provide two perspectives on a range of different topics. We don’t claim to have these figured out, but we think these posts could be used as springboards for conversations between mentors and mentees.

#2: Knowing your “why” is critical as your identity evolves through the process.

Advisee: I guarantee that you will enter your doctoral program one person, and exit it an entirely different person. Not only will you have gained new skills and have met new people, you will have conquered personal and career challenges. You have cultivated an entire network of new colleagues, collaborators, and life-long friends. You will have endured the growing pains that accompany personal growth, all while navigating multiple transitions (moving, getting accustomed to seasons, separation from family) simultaneously. Not to mention the spiritual growth and emotional maturity acquired along the way. You have embarked on a heroic journey that less than 2% of the population pursues.

Read the rest of the article at Psychology Today.