It is very easy to let extenuating circumstances get in the way of completing your dissertation, but don’t let that happen to you. Even if you do lose your job, suffer with marital problems, or have some other family crisis, it is still within your power to complete your dissertation. Let time become your ally. If you experience any major personal, career, or health-related difficulties or problems, be sure to make a written request to the university for an official “leave of absence.” All deans know that students, from time to time, experience major difficulties that cannot be avoided. If you have something major occur in your life, send in a brief written explanation of what is happening. Ask for three or six month leave. These are almost always granted. When you have recovered and your life is back to normal, you can resume your studies and continue working on your dissertation