Signup date: 30 Nov 2007 at 4:25pm
Last login: 26 Mar 2008 at 3:10pm
Post count: 144
Thanks for the encouragement BB! I guess I've been assuming that getting involved was requisite to the PhD, but if I can carry on just doing my work then I am quite happy to do that. I suppose I'm not the only PhD student who doesn't attend uni/dept seminars and lectures, and I've been worrying that I was! Cheers for reminding me that I'm not alone!
Thanks mokey! It is so comforting to hear that I'm not the only one going through this. I have found that it's escalated, in that the more time that has passed without me getting involved or being seen in the department, the more I worry about actually attending anything! My lack of involvement has stemmed from feelings of inadequacy too. I have non-PhD friends/support, but haven't made any friends on my course. I just haven't gelled with any of the other PhD students, and wish that I had because I think I would feel more involved in PhD life if I had people to talk to who understood all the issues involved with doing a PhD.
Hey everyone! I've got a little question that I'd like your feedback on. Since starting my PhD six months ago, I haven't been getting involved in uni stuff(groups, seminars, etc) and have just been keeping my head down. The thing is, I'm a little worried that I've isolated myself in doing this. I have a feeling I'm not the only one who has been in this boat. Does anyone else find themselves in this position? or experienced similiar worries in the past? I know that I can remedy this, and it's just a case of putting myself out there. It just becomes so easy to get in this position!
You're absolutely right. I don't understand why there is such a divide between full and part time. I'm only part-time because I can't afford the tuition fee, not because I care any less. From what I've noticed, there seems to be a stigma attached to studying part-time, like we're not as committed as the others or are doing it half-hearted and only putting in minimal effort. I actually put all of my energy into my PhD (Hence my recent breakdown!). If I wasn't wearing myself into the ground, I seriously doubt I'd be collapsing on uni steps!
I'm a part-timer too. In my department, they don't even acknowledge the part-timers. When we had our introductory talks, everything was directed toward the full-time students, and someone had to actually remind our head of department that she had part-time students! We end up paying the same tuition fees in the end, but we're not entitled to all the benefits that full-time students get. It's crazy. Sometimes I feel really out of it being part-time. There are only three of us in the department, and I really envy the full-timers for being able to put all of their attention into their studies.
mokey, the feelings you described are exactly how I felt before I fainted from nervous exhaustion (extreme lack of sleep, lethargy, constant headaches, heightened emotion) I felt like that for several weeks before my collapse. I have now been advised by my doc and everyone on the forum to detach myself from the PhD for a bit, and it sounds like you might need to do the same before you get into the state I did. I really sympathise. Oh, and don't apologise for feeling this way--you have every right to feel however you feel!
Thanks for all your concern and encouragement everyone. I had a meeting with my supervisor this morning and he was very sympathetic. He told me he went through the same thing a year ago! He's giving me some extra time for the assignment. I spent the weekend relaxing and doing practical stuff which was a nice break from the rigours of intellectual work. I'm going to take the next couple of weeks to let myself heal and get strong again. It's amazing how things creep up on you. I knew there was something wrong, but I just kept pushing on. I'm looking at what happened as a sort of blessing.
Thanks everyone! I'm so shocked that I arrived at such a dramatic moment. I certainly never saw this coming. I'm not going to abandon my PhD, just my attitude towards it. I was taking it much too seriously. It's quite ridiculous that I let myself get so wound up about this ridiculous assignment. It's not an upgrade or final submission, it's just a piece of writing! I need to let go a bit with the PhD, and be a bit more detached from it. I have invested too much energy into it, energy that has been drained from other areas of my life. It's amazing just how much it takes over if you let it! Thanks again
Hi everyone. I had a scary experience yesterday. I was walking up the steps to my uni, and collapsed. When I woke up, I was in hospital. Apparently, I'm suffering from nervous exhaustion. I've been feeling lethargic for the past month or so, have been having trouble sleeping, was feeling sick all the time, and was suffering from constant headaches. I've been winding myself up so much about this particular assignment my sup set me, and wasn't getting anywhere with it, complete block. Well, it was having a much stronger affect on me than I realised. I can't believe I actually fainted. I can't let the PhD get me into this state again. Now I'm beginning to wonder if the PhD is just too much for me to handle.
bellaz, I see exactly what you mean. However, don't beat yourself up about it. You have a right to feel however you feel. It's perfectly okay for you to be wound up about the PhD because it's probably the most important thing happening in your life right now. There's no hierarchy of problems so don't think that you have no right to be feeling the way that you do because someone else is going through something much worse. I understand what you mean about perspective but I don't think that means that your problems are ridiculous because they seem so in comparison to someone else's. I hope I'm making sense. Anyway, I wanted to let you know that you have no reason to feel ashamed.
Pilledevenhigher- I'm six months into the PhD like you. I'm so surprised to be feeling like this already. I think one thing that's sort of bugging me is that I've stopped worrying about what my supervisor thinks of me. With the worry about how he perceived me, I was motivated to do better, but now, I'm not bothered. I've gone from one extreme to the other! I wonder if the six month blues is something that alot of people experience. I know that you go through extreme highs and lows with the PhD, but I haven't hit any highs yet! The highest I've felt is when I started, but it seems to have spiralled since then. Maybe it's just about riding it out and accepting that we're feeling rubbish, and hopefully will be feeling better again.
I think what creates these feelings we're having is the enormity of the PhD, and the amount of material we're dealing with. It's not surprising that your brain goes into meltdown at the prospect of all this reading and processing. I'm sure that's part of it for me.
I can totally understand how you're feeling! I've posted several threads about this. I have yet to produce a piece of writing, and every time I attempt to sit down and work on something, it feels like my mind is somewhere else. It's quite scary because, as you said, when you start the PhD, you're full of beans about your topic, so excited and reved up. Where did that feeling go?! I'm worried about this 'can't be bothered' attitude that I seem to have adopted. You just hope that it will shift soon and you'll get that excitement back!
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