Guidance Needed!

posted
15-Nov-16, 14:04
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for MeOverHere
posted about 10 months ago
Hi,

I have recently enrolled for a PhD (full time, self funded) and the very thought of it makes me a nervous wreck.

I went straight from secondary school to my undergraduate degree and then into a masters programme. Within a month of completing my masters dissertation I was enrolled in the PhD. I've never had a proper job or been out of education and I feel like I'm suffocating from all this and want to get out into 'the real world'...

It was me that approached my lecturer and supervisor about the PhD and they were supportive of the idea and said we'll discuss it when the masters was done. Even then the doubts began and haven't really went away since.

The topic and title were chosen for me by my supervisor and they are advising me how to best approach it. They have been absolutely amazing with their support and though I do want to leave it already I keep stopping myself because I feel like I'm betraying them somehow. Problem is the topic is not interesting to me and when I think of other topics none come to mind. Absolute mental block.

I have work due for the end of this month but I simply can't write or read a word related to this topic. Is that normal? I have no interest in it whatsoever and that is really strange for me as I'm usually all steam ahead with work.

I also have a presentation due in January relating to it and the thought of it makes me almost physically sick. I've never had this kind of problem before and am truly lost.

I talked to my supervisor about my difficulty writing but he kinda brushed aside my words and discussed the plan in more detail. I have talked to my parents and they say do what makes me happy but it is clear they'd be divas appointed if I gave it up.

Any advice?
posted
15-Nov-16, 14:50
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 10 months ago
Tricky situation... but honestly, it sounds like you should quit. The only time I'd advise someone not to quit is if the going was getting tough, they were experiencing x,y, and z, but they actually WANTED to do a PhD right now. Unless they were right at the finish line - because then quitting would seem like a no brainer since they had put so much in already.

If it is just a temporary (couple of months maybe) block then I guess persevere. But if you deep down don't want to do a PhD right now, there is no point trying to go through with it because of others' expectations. It will only get worse, and possibly lead to you quitting in the middle or, worse, near the end. It is worth remembering that if you decide to stop then you will still have the necessary qualifications and abilities - so there's nothing to stop you returning to academia in the future.
posted
15-Nov-16, 14:52
edited about 10 seconds later
Avatar for kikothedog
posted about 10 months ago
If you are self funded and unhappy (which you sound) then walk away. Take a year or three in the real world, enjoy life and if you become motivated again and can still self fund you'll get another try. Good luck!
posted
15-Nov-16, 14:59
Avatar for MeOverHere
posted about 10 months ago
Thanks for your reply Tudor_Queen

I think I'm not doing it for me and that's a problem. The more I read the more I know that a PhD takes commitment and passion and right now I just don't have any. I could just stick it out but I can't see the situation improving. Maybe in a few years I could try again, but right now I'm kinda burnt out. Better to leave now before the work begins than in a year or two when I'm in the thick of it.
posted
15-Nov-16, 15:03
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for MeOverHere
posted about 10 months ago
Thanks for your reply Kikothedog,

Self funded and really unhappy! Being self funded probably gives me a luxury because I'm not worried about taking someone else's hard fought for funding.
posted
15-Nov-16, 15:18
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 10 months ago
Honestly, I would only consider self-funding something if it was exactly what I wanted to be doing and there was no chance of getting funded for it. To be self-funding and not excited by your topic just sounds like a miserable experience. I don't think there's anything wrong at all with going and getting some different experiences and coming back to the idea of a PhD when you're ready and know what you want to research.
posted
15-Nov-16, 15:23
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for kikothedog
posted about 10 months ago
A phd is expensive when self funding and don't take this the wrong way but your supervisors won't care too much about your concerns. Look out for your own interests and don't waste your money on this.
posted
15-Nov-16, 16:19
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 10 months ago
Fully agree with the others. Especially as you are self funding.

Who knows, in the future if you decide to do a PhD you may obtain funding - what a bonus.

All hypothetical - but it does show that you've got so many options.

Good luck in telling your parents sups etc if you decide to. They don't really have a right to be negative about it frankly! It's your life.
posted
16-Nov-16, 23:30
edited about 21 seconds later
Avatar for blocksof
posted about 10 months ago
Meoverthere, if I were you take a step back ask yourself do want to continue on a PHD that doesn't interest you? Walk away, ask for it to be deferred if possible and clear your head. If not why not apply to ERAMUS and study abroad, pick topics that interest you.

Postgraduate
Forum

Copyright ©2011
All rights reserved

Postgraduate Forum

Masters Degrees

PhD Opportunities

PostgraduateForum is a trading name of FindAUniversity Ltd
FindAUniversity Ltd, Sellers Wheel, 151 Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU, United Kingdom. Tel +44 (0) 114 268 4940 Fax: +44 (0) 114 268 5766