$20,804.00... That is the amount of money I wasted for the four years I spent in the D R I F T. I didn't realize that there was a term for doc students who had completed coursework, passed the comprehensive exams, and started on an independent journey to write the dissertation, failing to make any real progress. I was fortunate to go through my doctoral coursework in a cohort-based program with eleven other amazing people. We would drive hours to our University, and spend one weekend a month engrossed in coursework. After I passed comps, I went home determined to finish within a year. When I started the journey away from my cohort, I floundered. I missed the support system from my cohort members, and just sat out on my island spinning my wheels... for four years without making any significant progress.
When I received the "counseling out" letter from my advisor in January, four years after I passed my comprehensive exams, I was faced with the decision whether I was going to forgo the doctorate and settle for an Ed.S., or if I was going to forge ahead and finish. At the time, I didn't even have research questions. I remembered the reason why I wanted to earn my doctorate and decided that I must finish. I wanted to model lifelong learning for my kids, to prove to myself that I had what it would take to finish and become Dr. Amalie. I decided NOT to be a quitter.
I spent weeks organizing my timeline and establishing a blueprint plan to finish. I changed chairs, put my nose down and worked my ass off. Within four months of deciding, I defended my proposal. Eleven months after defending my proposal, I defended my dissertation.
The moment I earned my doctorate degree, I vowed that I would not let other doctoral students sit in the drift for as long as I did. I created a coaching program where I share the exact blueprint I used to finish, with a strong community support component, and regular group coaching and accountability calls.
If I can do this, you can too.
Be the hero and finish.
Wishing you peace and blessings on your dissertation journey.
~ Doc Amalie
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