I just submitted the first draft of my thesis proposal, and have been spending the summer working (at the moment I have 4 part-time jobs), and meeting up with other phd students at cafés. The neat thing is that these are not, for the most part, other students in my program. Today I had a great conversation with a woman I met at the last academic conference I attended. She lives in my city even though she’s doing a phd in education in another province. Last week I met a woman through my co-supervisor who is doing a phd at another university in this city in public health, but with interests that overlap with mine. I also meet up regularly with a couple of the students that I met in the class I took during the winter term. I have been a phd student for almost 2 years, but finally feel like I am building some form of community, and support network. Plus it is always nice while working in cafés for there to be someone to watch your laptop while you go to the washroom.