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What gadgets/other things you've bought have been really useful with your PhD?

When I read the topic title, I instantly thought "EndNote." Good to see you have that covered. It's been a god-send.

It depends on where you work (I share an office with about 6 other students), but I find all the necessary trappings for tea and/or coffee to be amazing. I often find myself completely distracted by one thing or another, and just the motions of getting the water ready and then drinking the tea makes the work much more bearable and brings my focus back.

The One Goal Thread

I'm going to join in on this thread and give myself one goal for today. It's a hard thing to choose...I've got so many things to do.

My goal for today is to finish re-reading this article I have been writing and make comments on all the parts that need improvement or further development. If I actually do anything to it, that would be great. But right now I'll settle for making a plan on what needs to be done.

p.s. I'm new to this forum, and I have to say that it's great what goes on here. It seems like a fairly active community of people trying to bring one another up--which is exactly what I need right now. Thanks for being here.

quitting PhD

I'm currently in the last semester (I hope!) of my Ph.D. I've gone through a lot of what you describe, including the depression. I specifically started a therapy regimen to try to figure out whether I wanted to quit because I was a screw-up and couldn't handle it or because my adviser is terrible (he's very difficult to work with). It's caused a lot of tension in my marriage, too. In fact, I just registered for this forum because I was feeling down about my own situation and wanted to try to find a way to feel better.

I've got a lot of guilt about not working hard enough or putting in enough hours, even though I start working/thinking about my projects as soon as I wake up, and I don't really stop until I go to bed. This is all fueled by my adviser's admonitions that "You're falling behind" and "You need to block off all of your weekends to work" and "you're expected to be in the office 60 hours each week."

I can completely sympathize with your concerns about structure. I never fully appreciated taking classes until they were few and far between. I don't honestly know whether an industry job would be better than academics. I've heard both good and bad. At the very least, please do yourself a favor and be proud of the fact that you've got job offers. That's not an easy thing to accomplish in today's economy.