Oh hi. I’m Zuni, a second year doctoral student who enjoys all things food, beauty, and adventure related. I founded The PhDream to educate others about this career path, stimulate meaningful dialogue around important issues that are often neglected in our communities, such as mental health and sexual violence, and also document this (long but worthy) journey to my PhD.

Grad school is hard. I constantly feel tested not just on content and skills, but time, patience, and maintaining balance in my life. Recently, I’ve been searching for ways to cope with the stresses and have decided to try expressive writing. Research has found that simply writing about yourself, anything (good or bad) can be therapeutic. Plus, the academic in me hopes that writing a little everyday will help me improve my writing hehe (God I can only hope). Originally, I was going to blog to document memories and daily musings, but I started thinking that my writing can serve a greater purpose. Maybe someone will find it useful…

For example, if you really liked those s’mores brownies I made that one time or you never got to try some (sorry my b), the least I can do is post my recipe! Or maybe you always wanted to get laser hair removal and are skeptical (like omg how do I get rid of this hair #browngirlprobs); I can give you a personal review! Or, you’re a hopeless romantic and would like to know about how I met my other half ❤ [he aight].

OR MAYBE you are curious about pursuing a PhD and would like to know about the journey. Personally, I don’t have many (or any?) strong South Asian and/or Muslim female mentors that have completed a PhD in social psychology. I’m hoping this blog will connect with others in similar programs or career paths; or maybe I can be that person for someone figuring out their life! I’d love to pass on my stories and experiences (how I got here, what it’s really like, what I even do, etc.)

Furthermore, I’d like to raise awareness on mental health and sexual violence within both the South Asian and Muslim communities (my main research interests). Recently, I first authored a chapter on psychological models in South Asian Americans for a handbook on South Asian American health and am currently in the process of proposing a study on studying sexual violence and blame attribution among South Asian Americans. There is so much yet to be learned and I want stimulate meaningful dialogue around these important, yet often neglected, issues in our communities.

If ThePhDream helps to inspire, challenge, encourage or support even one person, it will be worth it.