Signup date: 25 Jan 2008 at 11:11am
Last login: 11 Aug 2010 at 11:56am
Post count: 230
starfruit, you shouldn't be working every minute of the day every day on the PhD just so you can look forward to getting a life, as you put it. Life has to carry on right through your PhD, or you'll be miserable! Trust me, I was there a couple of months ago, and my health was really starting to suffer. I went to a workshop on PhD life and what came out of it was that those who were getting a balance in their lives were having greater output on their projects than those who were completely obsessed by it. If you become obsessed, you tend to experience prolonged periods of inactivity from burn out, which means that you will probably end up having to take considerable time out anyway to get back on track.
I totally disagree with the assertion that you 'cannot waste your time doing anything apart from study'. I think this is an unhealthy approach which causes major issues for people (i.e. burnout). I've seen it happen so many times. You cannot sustain this for 3-4 years without running into problems. How are you meant to refresh your thinking about your project if you never walk away from it? It's that proverbial notion of having to step back from something to really see it properly. I think your work actually benefits from breaks, because you return to it with a new perspective and from a different angle.
Hey lynn. Well, after a thread a while back where I was complaining about putting weight on at a scarily rapid pace, I still haven't managed to do anything about it! I've been exercising a bit, but I have found that the more I exercise, the more justification I find for eating!
Xeno I absolutely wet myself when I read this! That's fab (well, not for your head, but you know what I mean) I tripped over a computer cable a week ago and went flying across the room, only to land in my Indian take away and splash curry all over my papers! That was a sight, walking into the kitchen covered in biryani sauce and laughing hysterically.
I've found that making plans while doing your PhD is a pretty futile endeavour. You have no idea how things are going to pan out, and as xeno suggested, to make plans is to assume that you're actually going to get through the PhD! It's an epic pursuit with so many variables. We have no idea what's going to pop up. For instance, my friend's dad passed away a couple of days ago, and he has since decided that he doesn't want to carry on with the PhD, and wants to move home to be closer to his family. I have some vague ideas about what I'd ideally like to be doing post-PhD, but for now I've decided to just do the best I can to get through.
Does anyone else have a supervisor with an erratic personality? My supervisor is so unpredictable. I simply can't work him out at all! He swings from one extreme to the next, and I never know what sort of mood I'll find him in when I arrive at his office for our supervisions. It drives me mad! I handed in a piece of work, and he was livid about what he perceived to be an 'extreme lack of care and attention' put into it. Then three days later when I turned up to discuss it, it was almost as though he had never said that. I don't get it.
hi eh. I don't know about the ESRC, but I know that the AHRC is notoriously competitive, and every year, they bump up the criteria even further. I've applied for AHRC funding for both my MA and PhD and was rejected both times, and that was with top marks all round and fierce research proposals.
xeno I underwent the same self-evaluation recently too. I realised that the PhD was completely taking over, and I was actually sinking into depression which was stemming from spending so much time in the house, not moving, not getting any fresh air. It was getting pretty bad. It all came to a pinnacle moment last week when I was overwhelmed with fits of crying and outbursts. My friend told me he was really worried about me, that I was becoming more and more detached from the world. I just thought 'That's it. This is getting out of hand'. From then, I have tried to shake up my routine (or lack there of) every day. The night before, I write exactly what I'm going to do the next day, a checklist of sorts. I find this helps in solving the interminable 'lack of routine/structure' issue that all of us PhDers face. It's definitely helping, even if sometimes my lists contain nothing whatsoever related to the PhD!
Thanks to everyone for their replies. Reading my question today it actually sounds ridiculous! It's a question with many variables. I guess I'm just desperate to hear that it will all get better at some point. I woke up this morning thinking 'O god, yet another day of sitting at my desk reading!' It's a bit of a catch 22--in order to balance my life and not let the PhD take over, I've been dragging myself away from the PhD and going out to do other things, but then I found that I've been spending more time recently doing non-PhD stuff and neglecting my work. Yet, I think I've needed to step away from it so it wouldn't consume me.
After my last thread, I thought I'd start another one to ask people if they feel that their confidence increased the longer they worked on their PhD? I know it may sound a ridiculous question, but it would be quite comforting to hear from people who suffered with lack of confidence and started to feel more self assured later down the PhD track?
I'm definitely one of those people that takes time to get there. I seem to veer off the path quite alot and then pick it up later down the road! I really need to work on my confidence issues. Maybe as time passes, I'll start to feel more sure about myself and what I'm doing.
Thanks alot everyone!You're right, I shouldn't be looking at what others are doing but instead focusing on my own work. It's just that one of my friends is six months in too and has already written 30,000words, and another was telling me yesterday of a conference that he's presenting at next week whilst also contributing a piece for an edited text. I just feel as though I'm not really monopolising on the PhD experience as the others around me are. They seem to be doing all they can to get their names recognised in their field, whilst I'm sat here on my own, just trying to write! I guess some are more motivated and ambitious than others, and I need to accept that things take more time for me!
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