Signup date: 06 Sep 2008 at 1:33pm
Last login: 09 Aug 2010 at 12:30pm
Post count: 214
Thanks so much Pjlu, and everyone else that has offered support, things have continued to improve - I'm sleeping so well and have lost 1/2 a stone :-) I have also caught up with lots of friends and done a lot of walking. It's been great. My only regret now is that I should have made the decision sooner but, on the other hand, I needed to do that final push to prove to myself that a) I had really tried and b) it really was not what I want.
I am a very happy and relieved person now. I am reworking the thesis into an MPhil and doing job applications and generally getting my life back.
Well, it's been a week since I made my decision and I am feeling amazing. I've given myself this week 'off' and have just pottered around, met up with friends, and got out in the fresh air.
Next week I start working out how to turn everything I've done into a masters and I try to find a job. But am now feeling really happy, confident and buoyant about the future.
No doubt getting it squared into a masters submission is not going to be easy and there'll be some frustrating times ahead, but I have absolutely not one shred of doubt that this was the right thing to do in my situation.
I have just freed myself from the shackles of a phd. I talked with my supervisors about this very point, at length, and with friends in professional roles.
My thoughts are that you should focus on the determination and the recognition of ability that allowed you to get accepted as a phd student (don't know whether you are funded, but that is another aspect of recognition of ability) and the 'learning journey' of the phd as a whole - this is a journey upon which much can be learned which can, at times, result in the award of PhD. On top of that, what I am going to do is also consider the decision to terminate an unhappy and unfulfilling situation as a positive - it takes bravery and confidence to walk away from something that simply isn't working out. In my situation I decided to consider the phd position I was in from the viewpoint of a project manager (a job which I'm familiar with) and realised that if it was a project that I was managing I would close it down asap with damage limitations and go through a period of evaluation and reflection. I genuinely think this can be couched in positive terms.
Thanks so much for your kind words and support. I have had a wonderful few days, since making the decision, and have been left in no doubt whatsoever that it was the right choice for me.
I can breathe and sleep properly again. I feel like I am alive and that there is a future after all. I have got out in the fresh air and spent time with friends and family - all of whom are being incredibly supportive.
My son said yesterday that it was like his 'real mum' had been away for the a long time but was back now. This makes me feel sad and guilty but relieved that I drew it to a close before the situation deteriorated further.
It was a tough decision but sometimes its braver to walk away from something than to continue and, as it turns out, it is absolutely right for me.
I now need to find a job, shrink down my thesis to an MPhil submission and look forward to the future (which may include a phd, but it would be in a subject I absolutely adore and when my son is a little older).
Thanks again. (up)
Thanks for your words everyone.
The situation is a difficult one - I need to do at least another six months full-time on the thesis, then re-viva, then get the thesis back (if it were to pass).
I can't do six months full-time, our household is on its knees financially because I have pursued this. We are maxxed out on every credit card and are at the end of our overdrafts. We are unable to pay our bills now and am relying on family hand-outs to keep us from bankruptcy. I must go back to work asap, this means that realistically I am looking at at least a year of part-time thesis work..... the maximum extension I can get now is three months....
The other issue is that since my catastrophic viva I have suffered from real panic and anxiety and my work has not moved forward. I am working my butt off but the work is going around in circles, not advancing. My confidence in this work has been shattered and I cannot regain my earlier confidence.
This work has made me deeply miserable and anxious for the past two years. I am not the person I was and everyone who loves me is deeply concerned. I have lost family support now as they find it imcomprehensible why I should continue on this route. Particularly as I have no love for the subject and do not have any burning desire to own a phd..... I am only continuing because I started.
With all this in mind I have made the decision to withdraw and submit an MPhil. I'll still have to do some work to get a 100k document down to a 40k document, which is going to be tought.
The sense of relief is incredible, I slept soundly last night (for the first time in months) and have arranged to see some friends over the weekend (again for the first time in months).
Yeah, the external will be hostile, I had a hell of a time with her in the first viva. I can't financially manage another six months of full-time on this, we're crippled financially due to my working on it full time since being redundant and the thought of six-months-full-time broken down to part-time is just soul-destroying. Then to re-submit with a fair chance of passing, but not a guaranteed chance.
My gut feeling is that the mphil is probably the way forward. I have no fight left in me for the phd. It has taken so much time and fun out of life - it really has been hell since the viva.
I feel that the phd route is as much about the journey than the end result although, of course, we get utterly caught up by the desire for the end result. I've learned an awful lot, which I am grateful for but just don't think I can keep putting myself and my family through this process.
Hey, I'd appreciate your opinions.....
I was given the dreaded 'resubmission' option following my viva two years ago. Several extensions later and I should be heading towards resubmission and reviva. It has been utter hell. I do not enjoy my subject, at all, and have pretty much lost the desire to have a phd.
Anyhow, I've been working my @rse off for the past two months to rework two significant chapters. It got to the point to send them off to my supervisors and I was still really disappointed with them both.
I met my supers today. It was a cards on the table meeting and really tough going. They are both good people but we all had some difficult things to discuss. The outcome was that I am left with three options:
1) Accept that I probably need to do another six months, full time, on the thesis to then re-viva with a pretty hostile external.
2) Walk away with nothing now.
3) Rework the document into an MPhil submission.
My supers have said they will absolutely support me whichever decision I make.
It was very sad discussing all this. I wept, a lot, which was quite embarrassing. I feel that I spent three years (funded) on this work and then since then two years (sort of part time) and then in the last few months, full time (having been made redundant!)
I just think I have any fight left. I am dubious as to whether the research question can be successfully answered. I don't care about the topic. I am not that bothered about having a phd. I already have a long history of successful HE level research. I am not bothered by journal articles etc, I like research out there in the real world, with real people, which is where my history is.
The only reason I can think of for trying to finish it (which would have to wrap around a full-time job as I am completely and utterly broke and need to find work) is because I started it.
On the one hand it's a relief to have this out on the table now, but heartbreaking at the same time. It's tough. Everything has changed and I'm not sure where I'm heading.
Has anyone here decided to submit for a masters instead of the phd? Has anyone walked away? Any words of wisdom.
Jeez, that is a real shocker :-O
BTW, as the others just said, put some identify facts on it - I have mine attached to a key ring, with one of those cheap plastic bits, and have inserted my name and mobile number in it!! And back up regularly!!
BTW, I also, every now and then, back the whole thing up on my parents' computer.... I know someone whose house burnt down near the end of their phd taking everything with it - computer, usb, everything on paper........ they were able to cobble some bits back together using the chapters they had sent to supervisors, and had to rewrite a lot. It was a herculian effort.
Right, that's another 14 hr shift. I don't know anymore whether it's been worthwhile...!
It seems that whatever I do to this chapter it has the ability to a) disappoint b) absorb time. I have to send it off to the supers tomorrow (night), at least then I'll stop faffing with it.
I just need to re-draft the conclusion tomorrow. The bugger is now under 20k (just). However, it should be nearer 15k.... :-(
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