Signup date: 19 Oct 2010 at 9:52pm
Last login: 26 May 2020 at 2:42am
Post count: 65
I can only speak from my experience - I did chemistry as an undergraduate degree then a PhD in applying computational chemistry to photonic systems and then have been a post doc fellow where I have used a range of computational chemistry packages to model various systems.
There is in my experience two main fields - one is method development (parameterisation, developing basis sets, code development etc... the other is the USE of these codes/basis sets/computational packages to model proteins/ligands/dna/catalysts so and so forth. So, I guess what I'm trying to get across to you is maybe think about where you would find the most enjoyment - development or application?That is of course not to say that there is a very distinctive divide and if you do one you cannot do the other, but you need to consider the goals of what a potential supervisor has and what their group focuses on and think about how you would fit in.
All the best with your decision making!
I can also very much relate to how you are feeling. After university I stayed on in research and also, like tree, have led a very different path to many of my friends.
I just kind of accepted it in most part but what I found was that after a while my own 'friends' would begin with the 'when are you settling down?' comments and I had to say that after that I reduced contact with them. We all take different paths in life and in the end only you have to be ok with what you are doing.
Is there maybe a social interest club you could join with some peers from your lab or maybe something at your union - just so you can meet people who maybe lead a similar life to yours and understand the difficulties of working in research?
all the best to you
A bit off topic here but I wondered if anyone can relate?
Does anyone find that their family just doesn't get it? A bit of background on me, a chemistry based phd then two fellowships working at universities in Europe (I'm British and did my PhD in uk). I have a long term relationship but don't want marriage or children - although I appreciate and respect that many scientists/postgrads/researchers do! My issue though is my family don't seem to see what I do as a career, it's almost that they think I'm a perpetual student. I'm often asked when I'm going to settle down...get a real job, it like I'm seen as some peter pan character that never grew up (although I'm 34).
I just wondered if anyone else has experienced this and how it made you feel? Did you have any responses to such questions from family and friends?
I also agree with time for tea. You really should have listened to the advice earlier. As I said then I will say again now - any kind of non-professional relationship between student and supervisor is not ok and doesn't end well. You have left yourself in a difficult situation. I also recommend a student support facility. Please learn from this.
I want to say first that your response to Tudor seems a bit unfair, they did respond to you!
On to your question... it was this that really stood out to me...
'My worst fear is that all my passion for my field is just an illusion I've built for myself - and in reality I'm just too lazy to do hard work'
In order to be successful at anything you need to have passion of course, nobody can tell you if it's an illusion you have built for yourself, only you know that. It seems, and I apologise if I am wrong about this, you seem to set very high standards for yourself and really really beat yourself up when you don't meet them. My concern for you is that a PhD in any field really is very much a series of ups and downs and the trick is endurance. Its being able to go into the office/lab and still try to remain enthusiastic about what you do when things are going badly, data not coming out/data not showing what you expected/papers rejected and so on. From how you come across in your postings I am not sure if this is what would suit you. Of course I could be totally wrong about it also!
Remember of course that just because you struggled with your masters doesn't mean the same thing would happen with a PhD. Something I would suggest is can you talk with other people doing a PhD with the same supervisor/same group? Sometimes doing that can show you a lot about what the working environment is like, is it a group where everyone works together? regular meetings? or is it a more individual style of working and then think about whether that's something that could work for you.
I am glad you are finding the advice useful. About the snapping its probably not the best way to go - in my situation her behaviour was becoming beyond unreasonable and there was no other way I could react.
I think you really just need to stick to your guns and make statements along the lines of
'...I am sorry but I already have enough going on in my life which you never seem to consider as you always make every meeting about you and really this isn't the way I want to have my free time/lunch date/coffee date so maybe its better we just leave it at that. I wish you the best..'
My biggest concern for you was friend A because that was behaviour that was inappropriate and pressuring. Friend B, C and D are nothing out of the ordinary in terms of them being their own favourite topics of conversation. With people like that the less you respond and make plans they do, after a while, often get the message. Friend A though?...that's not normal
Sending you a cup of coffee!
The above advice is great!
Satchi you sometimes have to be cruel to be kind, it is possible that these 4 people are not aware that they are over the top or are aware and simply aren't bothered that they are OTT, BUT this doesn't mean that you are wrong to make statements AOE26 suggests.
A few years ago I had a friend who I would routinely rearrange my life for so that she could drone on and on and on about her life and her own bloody self induced crises. I have no shame in saying that I just snapped one day and told her to grow the hell up and stop being so self centred. The only thing I lost out of it was a false friend and what I gained was my free time back the drama-free life which I much prefer and I had time to spend with friends where I felt the respect and affection was reciprocated.
Trust me its liberating!
I know this thread is a couple of days old now but I wanted to say that I have some understanding of your situation with friend A!
I live in a country that is not my native one and I am naturally a very happy introverted person (at home reading a book in bed by 9pm is heaven - I am only 33! :D) but decided to try to go out and socialise and did EXACTLY the same thing you did in your friend A situation - so much so that I could almost think it was the same person! As in your situation I had constant emails and skype - it became an interference in my life. I changed my skype profile to show I was offline (even though I wasn't) to try and avoid these calls and messages, however that meant that my friends and my mother (generally the people I wanted to talk to) always thought I was unavailable.
What I ended up doing was actually blocking the person from my skype completely after sending an email saying that this level of constantly wanting my attention was simply no longer appropriate and that I wished him well. I felt bad at first but now feel a lot more free. Sadly Satchi a lot of people simply either don't realise or will not accept that their behaviour is crossing boundaries and you must must enforce your boundaries. You always come across as a really nice person on the forum and please don't let people over step the line.
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