Overview of Nesrine87

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Nesrine87
Friday, 14 November 2014 at 9:52am
Monday, 5 November 2018 at 2:16pm
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page 1 of 9 recent posts

Thread: Pay back parents' funding?

posted
10-Dec-14, 15:43
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
Hi awsoci,

Thanks for your response. You're right, I am a bit worried he'll be mad at me if I end up getting involved as it's not really my fight...but I guess I'm getting pre-empitvely mad on my parents' behalf. At the moment, I'm hanging back and waiting to see what happens. However, I am going to talk to my mum in a next few days and see if she mentions it. She definitely would mention it if he'd told her! If he hasn't come clean by New Year, then I'll probably tell them. I think *mulled* wine is particularly appropriate given the season! Yumyum.

Thread: PhD applications and refences

posted
09-Dec-14, 20:23
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
Oh also, sorry if this is obvious again, but remember to ask well in advance of the deadline (around one month) and make it really clear where they should send the reference and in what format (if applicable). They shouldn't have to look up any details themselves...i.e. kinda spoon feeding them. In the interests of staying on their good side :)

Thread: PhD applications and refences

posted
09-Dec-14, 20:21
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
Hi there,

Though in theory asking for references from former lecturers and supervisors is part and parcel of the field, it can feel like getting blood from a stone sometimes! Presumably you've given sincere thanks to people who've given you references already? How many have you asked for and how many more do you need?

I have been in a similar situation, and I was incredibly apologetic, acknowledged how much time it took, and how grateful I was etc. Some people will be happy to keep paying it forward, but one of my references eventually replied with a terse "No, I'm too busy, I've done enough". I thought this was unreasonable but there was nothing I could do except say "thanks anyway". I panicked because I thought I had left it too late to ask someone else. However, I immediately emailed another person in my department (who I felt was a nice person) and she happily agreed to provide a reference. I hadn't asked her in the first place because she didn't know my work that well but as long as you think they'll say something nice, I think that's the main thing! I ended up getting my offer so I guess she did write something nice.

Remember to say thank you when you hear back from where you've applied (obvious I know but easy to forget), and even send a nice card or something if you're closer with certain referees (like a former supervisor). Good luck!

Thread: Pay back parents' funding?

posted
09-Dec-14, 20:12
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
Thanks marasp. Yeah, tell me about it! If I could live at home, I would, but it's just too far away and there are no library facilities. I really didn't want my parents to give me any money as I'm not an undergrad anymore - they're certainly under no obligation to keep funding my education. But they insisted, and in return, I try to help out where I can, financially or practically. I get so frustrated with my brother, and how selfish he is. I will talk to them, and try to make my case.

Thread: Pay back parents' funding?

posted
09-Dec-14, 15:14
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
I hope so. I'll wait to see what happens and try to remember to post an update, in case it helps anyone else in a similar situation (although I don't imagine there are that many people with similar stories!). Thanks a lot for your help Caro.

Thread: Pay back parents' funding?

posted
09-Dec-14, 14:29
edited about 29 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
Hi Caro, thanks a lot for your response. I believe he has suspended his studies indefinitely but curtly shut me down when I asked him about it. Since it's already been six years, I doubt he has the motivation to restart his research. Closer to the start of his PhD, I told him not to rely so heavily on our parents and get a part-time job, but as he is older than me and I wasn't yet doing the PhD myself, I think he found it easy to ignore me. To be honest, he hasn't been a great sibling and I wasn't sure if my perception of the situation was being distorted by my generally negative feelings towards him.

My parents are still paying as he hasn't yet told them he's suspended - I don't know when he'll tell them but I suspect he might when he returns home for Christmas. In my culture, it's not common for parents to 'cut off' their kids but I think no person should expect to have their lifestyle funded like he has had. Again, I'd be more sympathetic if he showed evidence of budgeting but I know that he goes drinking every weekend in posh clubs. I'm worried that my parents won't listen to me or think I'm meddling. I guess I am meddling but as you say, a dose of reality could be good for him.

Thread: Pay back parents' funding?

posted
09-Dec-14, 12:24
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
Hi everyone,

My brother and I are (were) both doing PhDs in humanities. I am in my second year (full-time). My brother is currently in his sixth year (also full-time), and has recently decided to suspend studies. He has not yet told our parents. I have suspected for the past year that he would suspend as he seems to be spending very little time on PhD work. We live near each other and talk frequently. He has been doing some part-time work for the last couple of years. He almost never discusses his PhD but talks about his part-time work a lot.

I know that he applied for some funding at the beginning of his PhD but after not getting any, he didn't apply in subsequent years. My parents decided to fund him (tuition and living expenses in central London), and have continued to do so. I didn't obtain funding either but have found part-time work and reluctantly accepted some money from my parents as they insisted it would be unfair otherwise. I have also spent a lot of time continuing to apply for funding from the university, academic associations, and trusts.

I know I'm probably coming across as really self-righteous here, but from my point of view, he is quite spoilt. He has been earning some money so is not totally lazy. My parents are not poor but they did remortgage their house a few years ago and I feel he should take some financial responsibility and pay them at least some of the money back. Am I being unreasonable? I know he definitely hasn't had any major difficulties/obstacles in all of these six years - otherwise I'd be more sympathetic. I also know PhDs are not easy at the best of times and neither is getting funding but I see no appreciation from him of our parents' situation or how easy he has had it compared to others. Apologies for the long post, and thanks a lot for your thoughts.

Thread: Feeling a bit self-pitying and need to have a moan about my PhD

posted
17-Nov-14, 16:06
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
Hi awsoci,

Thanks for your nice message. In my head, I know my supervisors aren't attacking me, but it's good to have it reiterated that it's a form of tough love! I wouldn't dream of approaching her for fear of appearing immature, as you rightly say. As I said, I know in my head that I should deal with these comments rationally but my natural reaction is very negative, and I hate feeling that way because I ought to know better. I think I get so hurt because a lot of my self-esteem is based on my intelligence and work, and then I take it personally when someone criticises my abilities. Hopefully, over time, I'll just get used to harsh criticism and let it wash over me.

I agree that the fluency in three languages seems counter-productive - this is partially why I get very frustrated sometimes. My field is history, and I need to be able to read original sources in these languages but this is incredibly difficult and I can't be expected to be a master right away. I do need to have reading knowledge but my supervisor puts a lot of pressure on me. My university was actually in national news last month for having problems in dealing with students' mental health, so it really is a high-pressure environment. Either way, I just keep telling myself that I can only do my best and nothing more.

Thread: PGdip (oxford) vs MA (Kings, london)

posted
17-Nov-14, 15:54
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posted about 5 years ago
Hi sebleb,

Congrats on your offers! Which degree 'looks better' on your CV is ultimately a matter for your potential employer. So, to an extent, it's subjective depending on what jobs you are going for (or whether you are continuing in academia). It also depends on the result you get at the end.

In general, it's my understanding that the PGDip is more of a vocational degree, so I'm not sure what a History PGDip entails. An MA is a rigorous academic - as opposed to vocational - degree.

Either way, don't automatically plump for Oxford just because it has the better reputation. King's is a great school with a strong reputation too. I say this as a current student of Oxbridge myself. Look at other factors, like supervision support, location, facilities, etc. Ask yourself where you think you will thrive best. There's no point worrying about your CV if you spend the year being miserable!

Thread: Filing of physical files: any tips? or suggestions?

posted
14-Nov-14, 15:58
edited about 8 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
That's a tough one, I'll admit! I guess you know how your mind works more than anyone else, and with my articles for example, I guess I think about how I'll remember them in the future - what's the key theme that I'll think about first? Which theme is most relevant to my topic? Otherwise, alphabetical (or even chronological?) is a good way to organise as you can't argue with the alphabet!

Thread: Feeling a bit self-pitying and need to have a moan about my PhD

posted
14-Nov-14, 15:55
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
Thanks for your reply PhDefault, sorry to hear about your advisor! I think some people seem to delight in making you feel uncomfortable. Sometimes it feels like a bit of revenge as if they were mistreated as a grad student... I just had this horrible feeling of sickness in my stomach for a couple of days after reading my supervisor's comments. We have a good relationship otherwise, and I respect her which definitely made her criticism hurt more. I felt like emailing her and asking whether she realised how upsetting her comments were! Obviously, I didn't because I think I would have just come off as a whiny brat but sometimes I think these academics quickly forget how anxious and inadequate they probably felt during their PhDs.

Thread: Feeling a bit self-pitying and need to have a moan about my PhD

posted
14-Nov-14, 15:49
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
Hi Caro, Thanks a lot for your thoughtful response. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way but it's nice to hear that other people were/are able to get through it. A lot of PhD students (myself included) put themselves under pressure but I also feel a lot of pressure from my supervisors. I guess I have to learn when to not let it get to me. I always try to remember the good things I have going in my life, but sometimes you just want to curl up into a ball and hide under the duvet for a few days!

Thread: Filing of physical files: any tips? or suggestions?

posted
14-Nov-14, 11:09
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
I have a small filing cabinet that has been a life-saver. Everything's nicely organised by theme and spaced out so it's easy to find something when I need to.

Thread: Feeling a bit self-pitying and need to have a moan about my PhD

posted
14-Nov-14, 11:06
edited a moment later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 5 years ago
Hi all, Just started my second year. I constantly oscillate between thinking ‘just relax, not every day can be super productive’ and ‘you’re so lazy, you need to work harder’. I know this partly stems from how isolating the PhD can be (especially as I live far away from campus and my department is very small and unfriendly). My husband says I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and that I work plenty hard already. I know he’s right but it’s so difficult to get rid of these deep feelings of inadequacy. It sounds really childish but I find it really hard to work more than 7-8 hours a day, and at least a couple of those hours are spent procrastinating. I often feel anxious for no (discernible) reason.

My supervisor noted on my upgrade report that I seriously needed to improve my foreign language and essay-writing skills. This was a blow to my already fragile self-confidence. She expects me to be proficient in three difficult languages, two of which I only started learning during Masters/1st year PhD research. My degree is not in languages or literature. The comment about writing skills particularly stung as I’ve not really been criticised for that in the past and it made me feel stupid and embarrassed.

I’m also unenthusiastic about working in academia. Never feeling good enough and constantly being critiqued by people fills me with utter dread and panic. Part of me says ‘get over it, everyone else can seem to do it’ but part of me would rather get an office-based job where I wasn’t always under microscopic scrutiny in the way that I am now. My field is so small and underfunded, however, that the prospect of any job whatsoever seems very pie-in-the-sky! I know it’s normal to feel bogged down and demotivated sometimes but I guess it’s playing on my mind a lot. Thanks for taking the time to read this, I appreciate it.
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