Overview of Nesrine87

Overview

Avatar placeholder
Nesrine87
Friday, 14 November 2014 at 9:52am
Monday, 5 November 2018 at 2:16pm
134
Login to send a private message to Nesrine87
page 1 of 9 recent posts

Thread: career in academia and getting pregnant - the right time

posted
14-Apr-15, 11:09
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 4 years ago
Afraid I can't provide any advice either but I do echo annabelle9090 and jennypenny's thoughts! I came onto the forum to ask a similar(ish) sort of question so I'm glad to see I'm not the only one worrying about these things.

I'm a 2nd-year PhD in humanities and just turned 29. Not in a massive hurry to start a family but aware that we can't wait forever. I had no idea that some funding packages allowed for maternity leave! I'm fairly sure mine doesn't :( I also know that my (male) co-supervisor is very against babies and PhD mixing...

For people who had babies during the PhD - was there a specific stage of your PhD that made it easier? I was thinking of starting to try for a baby during the final stages of write-up but am worried about the impact of morning sickness or 'pregnancy brain' on doing a viva or trying to revise/resubmit. I also worry about getting a job with the intention of then taking time off - it feels dishonest but practical for financial reasons.

Sorry, I'm really not trying to hijack the thread - I hope my questions (and answers) will be useful to the OP.

Thread: Short online courses - worth it at PhD level?

posted
18-Mar-15, 15:53
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 4 years ago
Hi everyone,

Thanks a lot for your replies. I don't need to commit to paying for the course yet so I might see how the first two weeks go. But having read your replies, I'm inclined to just do it for my own interest and not pay for the official certificate. As I mentioned, we do have formal teacher training in my uni but I'll have to wait until January to start.

Mentoring sounds like a good idea...I'll look into that. My university is known for not providing much opportunity for teaching at PhD level because one of their selling points is UGs/PGs being taught by lecturers/professors. My dept is also really small and we have a really low staff:student ratio (5 staff for 11 PGT/PGR students). My husband suggested tutoring secondary school students, which he does part-time while doing PhD research but I'm worried about the time commitment (and dealing with teenagers!).

Much to ponder...thanks again for your help!

Thread: Short online courses - worth it at PhD level?

posted
11-Mar-15, 15:25
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 4 years ago
Hi everyone,

I've come across some short online courses on websites like Coursera and EDX. There are a few I'm interested in - one in particular concerns university teaching from Johns Hopkins. The time commitment is a few hours a week for 5-6 weeks but for a 'verified certificate', there is a fee. My uni offers teacher training but only once a year and I'm living away from campus this year so I've missed it.

If anyone has experience/knowledge of these courses, (a) are they worth my time and (b) would they look alright on my CV, or a bit 'meh'?

Thanks for your help!

Thread: Another 'I'm thinking of quitting my PhD' thread

posted
11-Mar-15, 15:04
edited about 13 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 4 years ago
It doesn't seem like you can take time off right now, but try to relax and do things that you enjoy. If you don't have many uni friends, do you have other friends you can speak to on Skype or the phone? I now you said you want to talk in person but Skype is better than nothing. Bottling things up makes everything seem so much worse. Vent on this forum and be open with your loved ones. If you're feeling low, they'll surely want to help. Outsider perspectives can be really helpful. Maybe try to get in touch with your uni counselling services, if at least to talk about the loss of your dad. If the project if not what you thought it would be, that is certainly something you should broach with your supervisor. Hope that helps a little. Best of luck to you and hope everything works out. N xx

Thread: Another 'I'm thinking of quitting my PhD' thread

posted
11-Mar-15, 14:58
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 4 years ago
Hi rubix, I'm really sorry to hear you've been having a rough time of it. I'm also very sorry for your loss. I actually know how you feel. It sucks majorly, and only time will make it better (the pain never really goes away fully but that's life unfortunately).

I haven't been through exactly what you're going through but I've certainly had moments of "I hate this, I want to give up and go home". I guess my main two pieces of advice would be: (1) trust your gut (2) don't give a flying fig what anyone else thinks - that includes disappointing/angering people, and feeling embarrassed.

Firstly, by 'trust your gut', I mean, take some time to really figure out how you feel. Probably there is a nagging voice somewhere in your head telling you either to stay or to go. Perhaps you're scared to admit how you really feel? Even in my darkest moments of feeling inadequate and depressed, I knew I always wanted to stick with it because I love my project and I believe in it. However, it took a year for me to feel really comfortable as a PhD student. Only you know whether you need more time to settle in, or whether it's never gonna happen. But as a recent graduate, you have time to restart a PhD later!

Secondly, it's easier said than done but at the end of the day, you have to do what's best for *you*. If other people choose to be upset, and direct that at you, that's their problem. Yes, obviously it'll make you feel bad but you'll get over that if you really feel it's the best decision. Please don't feel embarrassed. I know people who quit PhDs after 4 or 5 years, and no-one mocks them or thinks they're stupid. Just that it's unfortunate that things didn't work out. Anyone who thinks less of you isn't worth your time.

(continued)

Thread: Dealing with homesickness during fieldwork?

posted
13-Jan-15, 10:55
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 4 years ago
Hi everyone, I've not even left for fieldwork yet and I already feel miserable! I'm going to a foreign country for 3 months of fieldwork in just over a week and everyone keeps telling me how exciting it is and how lucky I am. Yes, I do feel lucky because it's a unique experience that not many people get. However, in all honesty I'm not looking forward to it despite trying my best to think positively about the trip.

I know my husband and I are going to miss each other terribly. We both get very downhearted when we're apart and find it difficult to be productive. We also worry a lot about each other's safety. As I will be a young single woman alone, I get very wary of going outside a lot by myself, especially after dark, so I tend to stay at home a lot. Sexual harassment is a problem in the country I'm going to and I'm finding myself getting quite frightened of it. Also, making friends will pretty much be out of the question as I won't be in any kind of scholarly community and not many local people speak English. I speak a bit of the local language though so I can get by.

The nature of my fieldwork means I can't plan a lot of stuff ahead and I'll have to organise stuff when I'm there so I'm scared things won't go well and I won't be able to access the material that I need. Speaking to government types fills me with dread, as does navigating public transport across a really big unknown country.

I know I need to stop being so neurotic but if anyone has some specific coping mechanisms, I'd really like to hear about them.

Thread: End of year one: still feeling lost

posted
13-Jan-15, 10:37
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 4 years ago
Hi coralflower, sorry to hear you're feeling down. I definitely agree with Caro's advice. I'm nearly halfway through my second year and I felt the same not too long ago.

Firstly, recognise that what you're feeling is totally normal and very common with PhD students, a lot of whom are high-achieving and very conscientious people. I certainly went into it with lots of enthusiasm thinking "I'm gonna smash this!" then you're faced with constant negative feedback, extremely slow supervisors, isolation (is everyone doing better than me? probably?), and a lack of perspective. Getting that perspective back is really important.

Once you speak to a few more advanced PhD students, you'll realise most people didn't get much done in their first year. In fact, the majority of my first year was a 'waste' of my time, as I switched topics at the end of the first year so it made my reading and research useless...however, I look at it as part of a bigger journey that led me to pick a topic that's much better academically-speaking and more interesting. Even when I thought everything was going great in my second year, I had loads of negative feedback which really floored me and I'm recovering from it now. I felt totally useless and stupid but I now recognise that I was putting myself into a downward spiral of negativity and pessimism. All of these setbacks build up your resilience and help you deal with more in the future.

Like Caro said, take it one step at a time...and relax! Your brain needs to chill out and that'll help put you back on the right track. Like when you get a brilliant idea while having a shower. You're not weak and you shouldn't be so hard on yourself. Best of luck.

Thread: Maximising productivity

posted
09-Jan-15, 17:35
edited about 10 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 4 years ago
Hi postdoc_mum, welcome to the forum!

I live in a noisy city and I get quite anxious over lots of things, which can distract me quite a lot. I've found putting in earplugs, and then listening to white noise/streams and bird noises (loads on youtube) with over-ear headphones is really helpful. It sounds a bit cheesy, but it totally blocks out car horns, loud pedestrians, etc and has been really helpful for my productivity.

Also, I take frequent breaks (at least once an hour) of 10 mins, and in those breaks, either make a cup of tea, do some stretches or lie down and close my eyes - anything to get away from a screen for a bit. I have bad eyesight and posture so it helps with that too. Lastly, I put my phone and tablet out of grabbing distance, or in another room (knowing that I'm too lazy to go and pick them up). Hope that helps!

Thread: Organising a conference or a study day... on your own

posted
09-Jan-15, 17:28
edited about 18 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 4 years ago
Hi Mara, please let us know how it goes! I'm quite keen on organising a study day, or something similar, and my department is absolutely tiny and studying very disparate topics so I doubt anyone would want to help me. Best of luck, N.

Thread: Pay back parents' funding?

posted
06-Jan-15, 12:00
edited about 1 second later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 4 years ago
Hi again everyone,
Just a little update...so, I feel like a big fat chicken. I'm still not sure if my parents know, as they didn't really mention it over the holidays. I didn't see my brother and I haven't spoken to him yet so don't know if he told them. I had just about plucked up the courage to say something, when my dad lost his temper about something stupid and upset my mum. I couldn't then bear to be the bringer of bad news (assuming she didn't already know). Anyway, I've taken all of your advice on board, and will try to address the issue again soon. Maybe I'll send an anonymous email...is that weird? Time to take a break from the computer methinks...

Thread: Happy new year 2015!

posted
01-Jan-15, 14:29
edited about 20 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 4 years ago
Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a good one. Best wishes for the year to come. N

Thread: Keep worrying about the future

posted
19-Dec-14, 13:55
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
Hi all,

Thanks again for your thoughts, awsoci and marasp. I think constantly reminding myself to have a positive outlook on the future is certainly key. I think I worry about the bad things that could happen (or good things that won't happen!) because of negative experiences I've had in the past. Obviously I know I mustn't dwell on them but it's easy to fall back into these destructive thought patterns. I don't have a specific mental health issue but I sometimes think whether I should consult my university counsellor...I don't know how good the service is though. With regards to babies, I'd definitely want to wait until the PhD is all done and dusted. I know that I want to be a mum though, and my husband is so broody, it's not even funny. I'm definitely open to adoption so if my body say "no way!" then it's not the end of the world.

However, since posting my first message, I have had my request to write a book review for a good journal accepted, which I'm really chuffed about! I know it's not as prestigious as a 'proper' article but it'll be a big confidence boost to see my name in print. I have Caro to thank for that suggestion! And thanks for the suggestion about volunteer work. I think I'll look into that when I start my write-up and I'm more settled.

Thread: Keep worrying about the future

posted
18-Dec-14, 14:15
edited about 17 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
Hi Mara and Caro, thanks a lot for your responses. You made me feel better. Mara - big congrats on getting your PhD (saw on another thread!), and Caro, best of luck with your submission.

I know it's silly to keep worrying about these things. It's so easy (and common no doubt) to internalise these external pressures from supervisors and society whereas it'd be a lot healthier to let them wash over me and do my own thing. Sometimes I think if I don't worry about some of these things enough, I'll suddenly wake up three years from now and find myself lost or unhappy...

I like the suggestion of book and conference reviews. I'm going to look into how one goes about doing that. (or maybe I'll look into becoming an ice-cream taste tester, who knows)

Thread: Keep worrying about the future

posted
18-Dec-14, 11:38
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
Hi all, instead of a specific problem, I hope I can get some reassurance. I've just passed my upgrade and got good comments (woohoo) so am feeling a lot less stressed than I was a month ago but I still find myself worrying a lot about my future. I'm currently in my second year and I fully intend on submitting at the end of my third year, as long as I don't come up against any major obstacles.

I worry a lot about not having any conference papers or publications although I know that lots of people finish the PhD without these things. However, my department is extremely small and I know that a couple of the other students have done quite a few conferences and publications (the latter especially with the help of their supervisors, which makes me feel a bit bitter...). I am absolutely terrified of giving a presentation even though I know I am a good public speaker - it's the questions sections which fills me utter panic and dread. I nearly started crying in my upgrade assessment even though my examiners were lovely and didn't say anything bad! I felt like a basket case. Also, I simply don't have time to write publication-worthy papers because my thesis work takes up so much time.

I have a 4-year gap between undergrad and masters in which I did some good internships, I was unemployed, did some travelling, and there was a family bereavement which totally knocked me for six. This combination of things means I haven't ever had a 'proper' job and I'm nearly 30. I do think some of my internships are good but I still feel a bit juvenile when I look at my CV.

Lastly (!) I just got married to a fellow PhD student (in his first year in a very different field) and am constantly thinking about when we should start trying for a family. Ugh, I wish I could slap my brain and tell it to shut up!

Thread: Importance of references for Oxford PhD application?

posted
17-Dec-14, 23:41
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
Hi Klou,
I'm not sure about 'big names' but I'd go for three people who you think will think of you favourably! I'm speaking as a current PhD student at Oxford. Two of my referees knew my work well but the other didn't. I had to email him with a list of my results and what essay topics I'd done. However, I knew that he liked me enough to write something positive. Big names are all well and good but if you don't know any, how can you have one as a referee? I'd say only one of my three referees would have been known to the department. I'm a bit confused by who you're talking about in your third paragraph - am I correct in assuming you have two academic and one professional? I'm a little surprised you're applying for a PhD without a Masters but then again I'm in humanities and I hear it's different for the sciences. Good luck, and send along more questions if you have them.
page 1 of 9 recent posts

Postgraduate
Forum

Copyright ©2018
All rights reserved

Postgraduate Forum

Masters Degrees

PhD Opportunities

PostgraduateForum is a trading name of FindAUniversity Ltd
FindAUniversity Ltd, 77 Sidney St, Sheffield, S1 4RG, UK. Tel +44 (0) 114 268 4940 Fax: +44 (0) 114 268 5766