Signup date: 16 Apr 2008 at 4:16pm
Last login: 06 Jun 2008 at 5:07pm
Post count: 202
Also, I think it's interesting that everyone I know who has gone through similar experiences has only spoken about it afterwards (as I'm doing here!) At the time, you don't like to say anything, because even though you're broke for some reason sympathy makes you feel worse. I didn't even tell my close friends when my finances were at their worst - just made excuses not to go out. It's wierd. And a very difficult situation to cope with.
The thing is, when your budget is super tight you get to the point where you simply can't take money out of the bank, (even overdrafts have a limit), and I've found myself there time and time again. It's not a case of goin short - it's a case of having no money left at all a particular point in time - which I've found that some people find hard to grasp.
Happily, things have improved for me a lot in the past year - but I'll never forget the difficult times. What I try to do now is be sensitive to people telling me they're skint. If someone tells me they have no money - I'd rather err on the side of caution and take it literally because that's how it was for me.
I don't want sound too depressing though, things really do get better with time.
Thanks donny. I'm sure you're right. I'm lucky in lots of ways esp in that I've got a fulfilling career and don't have to put my life on hold to get my PhD. But it would have been nice to have been able to talk about my PhD work with other students at the same uni once in a while - I don't like to keep droning on about it to regular friends - I'm sure they get bored!
I'm a part time student and other than my tutor I know absolutely no-one at my university other than my supervisor. I met a couple of other part timers when I first started, but they have since left and because I have a nine to five job all week, I can't spend time at uni meeting anyone. I have friends doing PhDs elsewhere whose unis provide an online network for part timers, so they can at least email each other but mine doesn't. Does anyone else suffer from this or is it just me?
You're not alone - I know that feeling well. I have a job but I still struggle, everything I earn goes on tuition, food and rent. I'm just about managing at the moment - but I remember about a year ago not being able to afford much food, standing in my department hoping someone who was eating a packet of crisps would offer me one because my budget couldn't stretch to breakfast stuff and I'd been going without for weeks. I know one or two friends who have had similar experiences - people don't like to talk about it because they're embarrassed but it goes on more than you imagine. Try not to let it get you down. Somehow we all muddle through. as for going out with friends - I've turned that down for more times than I can remember and there are always people who don't understand because they've never been there. Igonore them if you can and don't be afraid to be honest. Most importantly, you are absolutely not alone, even if it feels that way sometimes.
If I were you I would carry in with what you're doing concentrate on the quality of your work rather than the reputation of the university - however, if you want to do a different PhD in another field then going back and doing an MA can be a helpful way in. If you're happy with your subject and you're in the arts though, I've been told that getting the PhD under your belt as soon as possible is the best idea... you'll gain your own reputation afterwards once you've spent a few years working... and the uni you went to will seem less important as time goes by.
Hello sixkitten - I know what you mean! I'm also part time, which makes it so easy to avoid work because there are always so many other things to do. I have a full time job and every day after work I think "tomorrow night I'll do some work on my PhD" and for months and months I hardly did anything at all. I have got round it by isolating just four or five hours every week for the PhD work and sticking to it. I do less that I'd like but some is always better than none. And it does build up over time. Don't give up - work out a timetable and stick to it as best you can. Also, draw a line under the past and don't thin about the time you've wasted or the work you could have done - it doesn't help and you can't do anything about it anyway. Let it go and start again. Good luck!
An Master of Arts was an absolute requirement for my PhD, regardless of undergraduate grades. This is because many arts subjects are not available at undergraduate level and, (with the possible exception of arts practitioners who have stacked up a wealth of professional experience), an MA represents the only way a university can evaluate your suitability to go for a PhD in the subject. In other words, for many arts students the MA is an actual shift in subject rather than the next step up - making it not a matter of it being worth doing, but obligatory.
I quit smoking too although I still think about starting again every time the going gets tough.
I wouldn't worry about the extra pounds if I were you. It's more important to stay off the cigarettes. Having said that, I find getting into the habit of going for a short walk when you want to have a snack is a good way to get your mind off food. (As long as it's not a walk to the fridge that is!)
The errors in your post would suggest that you need to improve your English language first. Contact the universities you're interested in and see if they can offer you advice. Tell them what your qualifications are and ask if there are other things you need to do before applying - such as pass an English exam.
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