Jaydeep Pancholi is a PhD student within the School of Management and Languages at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. His PhD thesis is investigating business strategy within the context of conflict zones, reviewing stakeholder influences on the strategic process. Prior to this Jaydeep had gained a BA (hons) in International Business and Marketing at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, including an exchange at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, studying courses in management and culture. This was followed with working at a leading automotive manufacture in corporate fleet. Jaydeep’s academic interests have been rooted from his extensive voluntary work in personal development and corporate sustainability being a trainer for a global NGO.

We all start a PhD hoping to not face any troubles within our personal life. However, as life goes, this could be the case. Heaven forbid any health issues. When it comes to issues concerning your studies there is usually very good support from your university to help you. Guidance will be given to you in the appropriate manner. However, when I faced a physical health issue I hit the dilemma of whether or not to take a break from studies.

Where you are expected to achieve certain check points in your studies, I did not want to use my health issue as an excuse. It could hinder my ambition to want to achieve or create the fear of falling behind. However, underestimating my health only led to missed deadlines and submitting a low quality of work. Having finally decided to take a 3 month break I later realised the positive support. I would recommend sharing your thoughts with your supervisor sooner than later if you are going through such things. Unfortunately (and fortunately) they cannot read your mind. This will allow proper guidance from the beginning, which in turn is actually more efficient in completing your PhD. Ensure you possess a medical letter and arrange the correct talks with your department. The university will be 100% willing to help you in your recovery and extend your final submission date. Do not worry!

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Stay positive and do not let this play on your mind. It is wasted effort. I found setting a tentative plan for my return also allowed me to rest properly in recovery.

Picture by Annie Roi under CC license.