Signup date: 25 Jan 2008 at 11:11am
Last login: 11 Aug 2010 at 11:56am
Post count: 230
I didn't think there would be a stigma attached to being skint during the PhD, but when I've turned down offers to do stuff and told people that I was broke, they seem to regard you with disgust! In all of my student years, everyone I've known has struggled financially, and we would usually combat this by going to each others' houses and cooking cheap meals and just hanging out at home watching dvds. Now, all the other PhDers I meet want to go out all the time, and find just 'hanging out' boring. I'm kind of at the point where I'm thinking that to avoid feeling this pressure, I'll just study at home and cut myself off from everyone.
Hi everyone! I'm really struggling and finding it difficult to keep up with my fellow PhDers, who keep asking me out for coffees/drinks/lunch, etc. It seems like everyone around me is comfortable financially, and it's really starting to get me down. I feel so uncomfortable when I have to turn them down and can't bring myself to say 'Sorry, I can't even afford a coffee!' I thought that PhD students would be skint, and am surprised to find those around me throwing their money around. Is anyone else having a hard time with this? I got home last night and cried. I know that might sound ridiculous, but not having any money is having a huge effect on me, excluding me from going to things and integrating with others, so in the end, it's actually making me feel isolated and alone. If I had met another students who are struggling as much as I am, and we could just quite happily go sit in the park and drink our water, I wouldn't be bothered!
I cried for an hour after I heard this story. The worst thing is thinking about what sort of life this woman and her children are going to have now, carrying this darkness with them. How does someone then go on to lead a 'normal' life and be able to heal from this?!!! I'm absolutely disgusted with the wife too who 'supposedly' didn't know that this was going on for all these years. RUBBISH! If she didn't know, that's just as disturbing as far as I'm concerned. I don't think they should take his life, that would be too easy for him. He should have to endure precisely what he put them all through.
I'm seven months into my project, and it still hasn't taken shape, ie I haven't figured out exactly what my central concern/question is going to be. However, I see everyone around me already starting to present at conferences, and I'm starting to panic a bit. Should I be worried at this point if I haven't presented yet? The problem is, I feel like I need more time to get comfortable about my research, and don't quite feel ready yet. My friend told me I need to focus on what I'm doing, and not worry about playing 'keep up' with everyone else, and whilst I totally agree with him, I can't help but feel inadequate when people who are at the same stage as I am are already venturing out and presenting their work. Any feedback would be appreciated. Cheers!
Maree, thanks for the lift! How are we supposed to know if we have progressed or not? I think this is one of the major worries for PhD students. We're just reaching for anything we can find which is remotely connected to our topics, and you just feel like you're not progressing. I've come to a standstill, and am actually thinking of taking a few days off to clear my head and start afresh.
I have considered changing too. My sup doesn't answer any of my emails. It's gotten to a point where I just don't bother emailing him anymore, even if I have a question or a point I want to make. I talk to others in my department, and they have great relationships with their supervisors. My advice would be that, if you do decide to go ahead, be very careful in how you proceed. Apparently, you can really get a bad rep if you go about it the wrong way.
Yep, always an issue! Maybe we create impossible goals for ourselves? I know that my task lists are ridiculous sometimes. I'll set myself the task of finishing two texts in one day, which is just impossible. I've had quite a few jobs on my list which still haven't gotten done. I've set myself the task of sorting out the tornado of paperwork which has been accruing, but still haven't had the courage to face it!
Thanks everyone! PhD girl, I know exactly what you mean when you say you wouldn't have a clue if someone asked you to summarise your argument! I too feel that way, like I don't know what the central question in my thesis is going to be. Vince, you're right we haved progressed in our thinking, but are unable to see quite how. I know that there has been movement of some sort, but just can't work out how. I was on the bus this morning, and had a slight panic because I realised that I haven't been doing much work recently, and decided to go home and do some reading to make myself feel better. It's a strange guilt that comes with the PhD, isn't it?
Cheers for the sound advice joyce! I wish I could really see how far I've progressed since beginning. Sometimes we're too close to our work to realise. It'd be a great incentive to keep going, if you could really get a sense of the distance you've travelled.
Thanks for the encouragement! I feel like I haven't hit upon the right material, and I seem to keep going in circles with my thinking. I thought I had a solid direction, and then I found some material that totally blew it out of the water! The thing is, I don't want to get sent in a completely different direction with a topic that I'm not so keen on, because you have to have something that really interests you to keep you going for 3-4 years. I keep thinking that one day, I'll find something and everything will magically click into place, but I'm now starting to realise that it doesn't work that way, that you don't have this moment when everything becomes clear. Arghhh!
Hi Bobby. I can empathise with how you're feeling. I'm approaching upgrade and my topic has not become clearer. Through research, I've found that the original topic isn't viable at all, and I have no idea how I can change direction, no ideas coming. Sorry that I don't know how to advise-I'm in the same boat! I thought I had original ideas going into the PhD, but it often happens, that the more you research, the more you realise that your topic's been covered! It's so depressing!!! If we could only somehow make it through the upgrade viva, that would spare us some more time to work it out...
I started to give up caring about my weight gain recently, but now that I realise that none of my trousers fit, it's become a concern again! I can only wear two pairs of my jeans. When I try on the others, I have fat rolls bulging over the sides!!! I was trying on some clothes in the changing room at a shop the other day, looked into the mirror and burst into tears. It becomes more traumatic when you go shopping and see yourself in those horrible shop mirrors!
Well, I've been doing the PhD for seven months now and I still haven't worked out what the gist of my project is going to be! Has anyone else found this, that you're still not sure at this stage what your main topic/argument/question is going to be? I feel as though I'm not consulting the right material, and that I haven't been doing proper research yet. I've been reading texts/journals, but haven't ventured into archives, etc. Is this normal? Do any of you still feel unsure about the direction of your PhD?
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