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success stories.

"I subscribed to your newsletter for several years and am happy to unsubscribe as I have been granted my PhD. Plus--I got a job! Thank you for your words and support--they really helped!"









"I want to let you know that yesterday I successfully defended my dissertation. I cannot thank you enough for all the encouragement and advice I found on the survival guide."





"Please let me take a moment to say thank you for all of the help and encouragement your website/newsletter gave me over about 18 months. Due to a family situation, I did the unthinkable once I became ABD - I moved 10 hours away from the school I was enrolled in and took a position with another university. For many of my fellow cohorts this proved to be the worst decision of their educational careers, over two years later and they are still not even halfway through their dissertations. On the other hand, while finishing my coursework, I happened upon your site one night and subscribed to the newsletter and it was wonderful. Anytime I felt just too tired from work to do any work on my dissertation, I would read through a newsletter or I would receive a new one that always reminded me that I was not finished yet. I thought many of the articles were very helpful and inspired me to push forward with my research and the writing phase of my dissertation. In the end, I was able to move away, take another job, and perform all of my data collection and computer analysis within just 12 short months. But, what I want you to know is that I never would have done it so quickly if it was not for your newsletters emailed to me. It was just the little piece of encouragement I needed at the end of a hectic work day when it seemed as if no end was in site. Thank you so very much. Keep up the good work!"






"I subscribed to ABDSG not long after beginning doctoral study 7 years ago, well before beginning my dissertation. Even though the dissertation process felt like three lifetimes, once I got a committee who could work together as a team and who were committed to my completion, it only took about a year and eight months. It was without a doubt the single most difficult project I have ever undertaken, but if it were easy everyone would have a PhD, and people like me would probably find ourselves looking for a steeper challenge, wouldn't we? The dissertation-related inspiration and wisdom provided by ABDSG was a welcome glimmer of hope every month, particularly when things looked the most bleak. The ink isn't even dry on my degree, but just knowing that I successfully completed doctoral study helps me feel as if I can do anything. Thanks so much for providing such a valuable service!"






"Friday February 27 I successfully defended my dissertation....The e-mails from the ABD Survival Guide always seemed to come at times when I was struggling with the ups and downs of getting to the dissertation defense. Sometime it was just a few words of wisdom, other times the content focused on what we all go through. You were part a support system that guided me and reminded me of the important things, like taking time to relax, to write, and now to savor the success of finishing not just a dissertation that will live in a dark corner of a storage room, but a piece of work that I am proud of. Once again thanks."



"I would like to say thank you for the information that I received from the ABD Survival Guide. I would like to say thank you for the encouragement which gave me hope to continue on to become a PhD. Through the ABD Survival Guide, I was able to meet with a support group that let me know that I was not the only one that was struggling to understand the concept of getting a topic for a dissertation approved. Again I thank you. I successfully defined my dissertation."



"It took me 17 (!) years from proposal to finished product, but I did it! Along the way, I always found your newsletter very helpful. I really liked the inspirational quotes, and many of the articles were quite helpful. I will certainly recommend it to my future grad students!"



"Things looked bleak just a year ago and now I am no longer ABD, I am finished, at least in part thanks to your online newsletter."

"The ABD Guide newsletters seemed to come at exactly the right time and on exactly the right topic almost every time I got them. I remember one in particular, about how to get started again after a long time away from the dissertation. That one really helped. Others, particularly those on the topic of procrastination, "having a life," and dealing with isolation were also appreciated."



"I really enjoyed the first hand accounts of graduate students who were going through the process and described working with their committee members and different parts of the process. I would strongly urge your to continue these. It means more than someone who went through the process a long time ago."



"Thanks so much for providing this wonderful service. The ABD Suvival Guide has been a great help in planning, not only my thesis, but a number of papers I have had to write for various classes. Once again, Thanks."



"I think that abd-l was valuable to me for focusing on process, on the individual learning experience, and the sense of worth that each of us needs to find in what we do. I don't consider myself as having a lot of confidence, others would disagree, but I found the stories that were in abd-l confidence building. Keep up the good work."



"I just wanted to thank you for your monthly support messages. They were actually quite helpful (especially the ones recommending lowering your expectations!), and I have just defended and turned in my dissertation in anthropology here at UT Austin. So, thanks again."



"I am very glad and grateful to have found your services and yes, please pursue your efforts. They are not a blind alley, but a bright light leading the way."



"I have to admit, I was skeptical about the whole coaching seemed to me that it wasn't so different from what my advisor had been doing for me (sending me reminders to keep on working, reassuring me that my work was good). As a result, I wasn't willing to spend the money to hire a coach until your offer came along. But now that I've spent two months working with my coach, and my view of the value of the coaching relationship has changed completely. There are a number of things that the coaching process has done for me that my advisor (and my family) couldn't. It has helped me to come up with a realistic weekly structure into which I can fit my dissertation work--without unreasonably taking away from my family or my demanding tenure-track job. It has helped me to identify ways to get past my own personal areas of "researcher's/writer's block." It has helped me to realize the importance of saying *out loud* to my colleagues and family that I'm working on my dissertation, and to therefore prioritize that task in not only my own mind, but in theirs......Part of what's helpful is the focus on structure--having the weekly calls, preparing the call prep form, being faithful to the weekly schedule for dissertation work that I worked out with my coach. Part of it is having someone to talk to who (a) understands the context of and pressures of academic work, and (b) has a slew of helpful suggestions geared towards the dissertation-writing process.....So for me, at least, the coaching experiment has been an incredible success, and I hope to continue my coaching relationship through the summer which is when I'm hoping to finish up the "D" in my ABD...)"



"I had my proposal meeting for my thesis this morning and it went well. I used some of your tips in getting the thing written and just wanted to thank you and let know there are real people out here who find your work helpful."

"My coach has really helped me and I anticipate [the coaching] will easily shave off a year (or more) from this journey. I 'm already farther than I ever thought I would be."



"Thank you for offering such an invaluable service. Since I've found you site and subscribed to the ABD Survivors Guide, I truly feel like I might survive this process."



"I wanted to take a moment and thank you for all of your indirect contribution toward the completion of my doctoral dissertation which was finally and officially approved by my committee and OAA on 2/5/99, the historical date of my doctoral orals. Even more amazing, after all of the late nights, revisions, revisions, and more revisions, following the doctoral orals, my committee unanimously agreed that NO MORE REVISIONS were required! In addition, yesterday I was notified that my study was accepted for presentation at 2 professional conferences. It's amazing how one's life can change overnight. The content of your newsletters were always timely and relevant, and served to maintain my focus during some very lonely moments. I thank you."



"I really appreciated the occasional bits of humor in all of it. I found it so difficult to maintain good morale that anything that could make me laugh, particularly if it made me laugh about the process of being ABD, was really helpful!"



"I think that the ABD newsletter was a helpful life guide for me. Reading about others who completed the process was a motivator to me. I' have even passed the helpful hints on to others who are not completing dissertations, but may find them useful in other aspects of their lives."

"Thank you so much for your support the last few years. Please remove me from your list. I finished!!"



"I think that the ABD newsletter was a helpful life guide for me. Reading about others who completed the process was a motivator to me. I' have even passed the helpful hints on to others who are not completing dissertations, but may find them useful in other aspects of their lives."

"I was never actually "ABD" but I used the survival guide as a preventative measure. Just getting a message every two weeks helped me to stay focused (or refocus) on my dissertation. Thank you!"



"The listserve was helpful because it gave me hope. I really thought it was me alone with no outlet for my frustrations. I am a procrastinator and the listserve helped me to break some very nasty habits and to reward myself when I did accomplish tasks."



"Thank you for the ABD Survival Guide. I always enjoyed reading it and finding out that I was not alone in my struggles. I found myself able to personally relate to many of the comments that were shared."

"I successfully defended yesterday. Many things that have passed through the ABD site have been invaluable."



"Just wanted to tell you your newsletter was helpful and upbeat, and I appreciated the added incentives. I am unsubscribing today, because I finished!!! "



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