I like asking this question at the start of a webinar. It’s fun to see whether people are in their university’s city or nearby, perhaps in another country or – in some cases – half the world away. It’s a gentle starter question before I ask about research or feelings, expectations and fears.
When you are trying to help a friend, you could start with the same question even if you have a different intent:
- Where are you? As in, where on your PhD journey?
- Where are you? As in, how far along are your preparations?
- Where are you? As in, where’s your head at?
If you want to help, be gentle with your questions. Your friends might need help but not know how to ask or know what they need exactly. “Where are you?” starts a conversation and gives room for someone to respond.
If you think your friend might need help, ask where they are and then go join them.