When writing the dissertation, it can be tempting to seek out isolation. Normally, people isolate themselves in one of two situations: either they are making tremendous progress, completely absorbed in the work, or they are avoiding the work and don’t want anyone to know. If you’re anything like me, you sometimes get really caught up in your goals, projects, and plans, (I call this my "mad scientist" phase) and hanging out with people doesn’t feel nearly as interesting as your work. In the other case, you sometimes get caught up in what people might say or think about your (lack of) progress, so you don’t feel open to connecting with others. In both cases, the advice is the same: stay connected to others, even when it’s difficult to find the time, energy, or motivation. Relationship are an important part of life, and need to be cultivated and supported. If you’ve been isolating yourself, for any reason, it’s time to make a change.