In eight months I have yet to form a single personal connection within my doctoral program.
My social anxiety is too high to attend gatherings. I keep thinking I'm going to attend an event, but I have only managed to attend a play -- nothing else outside of classes. I fear going to campus, much of the time. It takes a lot of energy to attend class. Sadly, I sit and shake in my classes, even though I don't hesitate to speak.
Classmates have called me "The Ghost" to my face. I'm an outsider.
The importance of connections cannot be overstated. You need to connect with classmates and with instructors.
I would tell any student that you need a mentor in a degree program. Without a mentor and a clear goal, you will struggle -- as I am doing now. A mentor helps you navigate eve…