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Finding Your Friend Family

Originally posted on PhD Balance social media platforms on 02/12/2020.

Hi, my name is Natalia Ingrid Oliveira Silva. I’m from Brazil and I would like to share some experiences with you, and perhaps shed a light on the fact that we are not alone and can help each other, always!

Picture of Natalia looking directly at the camera and smiling.

Since the beginning of my PhD I have faced multiple feelings about it.

When you move from your hometown to a city far away from your family and your friends, you have this tendency to pursue a "friend family" wherever you go. I'm lucky enough to have found that, where I am.

However, I also have found an extremely competitive environment, of people who want to see my failure, people who want so badly to be better than everyone that they will do anything to achieve that.

I have found rudeness, authoritarian people, and a lack of sympathy regarding other people's feelings.

I still believe more in the other face of my work, that one where I see good friends and colleagues helping and collaborating with each other, that one with comprehensive, fair and egalitarian mentors and teachers.

I'm not saying that I'm free of that feeling of failure, isolation, or doubt about my capability when I have to face those "mean" people. However, I'm fighting, and I'll always fight against those types of people and behavior inside academia or other work environments.


We thank our author, Natalia (natyngrid on Ig) for sharing their story!

If you'd like to submit your story, anonymously or named, fill out our google form or email us at


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