Signup date: 30 Nov 2007 at 4:25pm
Last login: 26 Mar 2008 at 3:10pm
Post count: 144
cheers cryo and catalin! It's so tough, isn't it?! I'm trying to decipher what actually constitutes originality, as it could be a slight paradigm shift on a topic that's already been extensively covered. I'm not 'feeling it' yet--know what I mean? That feeling when things start to 'click'. Hey, I guess we might be expecting too much at this stage perhaps? Anyway, we're obviously not alone!
Hello all! I'm really frustrated at the moment. I started my PhD a few months ago, and am finding that what I thought were 'original' ideas have already been published widely. I'm finding this quite a deflating experience, and have come to a standstill because of feelings of uselessness. I'm sure this is a common phenomenon with PhD students, but I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this and how you got through it? Cheers!
Hey soophie! I started the PhD a few months ago. You will probably find, as I am at the moment, that you'll try out a few systems of collating/organising materials before you find the way that really suits you, so don't worry too much at this stage. Be vigilant with keeping a running bibliography (use Endnote, if possible), try to keep a journal of thoughts/ideas, things you've done each day (though this is a great theory, it's quite difficult to keep going!). You will end up going through material that actually turns out to be useless, but that's all part of the filtering process and locating your topic. You will probably find that the initial topic you go in with will change the more you read. This is perfectly normal--mine has already evolved four times so far! Have fun!
BigBoy--what a relief it was to read your thread! I too am in my 1st year of the PhD and am already experiencing difficulties. Though I've only been doing the PhD for a couple of months, I've done such a small amount of work, spending alot of time consumed in practical aspects of PhD life or just finding ways to avoid doing work! From what I've heard from other PhD students, it's exceptionally common to waste alot of time in your first year. Hope that helps!
cryo and coastman--understand exactly what you're saying. Having an unsupportive partner can have such devastating effects on the PhD. For instance, one of my mates recently dropped out of her PhD because she was going through a heavy breakup and lost all sense of focus and commitment with the PhD. I guess what also factors is what kind of person you are. If you're one of those people who has the ability to 'switch off' when you're having a tough ride with your personal life and still get your head down and work hard, then you can cope much better. Xeno, how's it going?
xeno, it was so strange seeing your posting this morning because I'm going through the same thing! Unfortunately, my girlfriend and I split up last night, and the reason was her refusal to accept how much the PhD meant to me. I'd like to advise that if you find the relationship to be having such a detrimental effect on your work, then you should consider doing something about it. Then again, this is a very personal thing. I know what you're going through though, and just how tough it is.
-so nice to get your feedback guys. I've heard from quite a few PhD students that they wasted alot of time in their first year, and I am certainly feeling that! You just don't know how far along you should be, and there's no gauge, because everyone's experiences are so different. It's so nice to hear from you all, very reassuring.
Thanks guys. I was feeling really unsure about what to do on that one. I really dislike gossip and any negative talk about other people. I feel so uncomfortable in that sort of cruel, competitive environment where it seems like everyone is out for themselves. From discussion I've had with other PhD students, it seems like this backstabbing goes on alot. Although I suppose this happens everywhere.
Hi everyone. I wanted to ask a question that, although it doesn't look particularly political, has the potential to be. I wanted to ask you all if you think it wise to socialise with people in your department? I'm asking because I went to a departmental 'do' today, and I could see the politics brewing. Several of the students were slagging off staff members/other students, and I felt extremely uncomfortable. I want to feel part of the department, and not feel alienated, but I also don't want to get involved in rubbish personal politics. Can anyone lend any advice on this?
Hi everyone! I just started a PhD a couple of months ago, and I was wondering if you seasoned PhDers could give me some advice on this one. I'm feeling completely out of my depth at the moment, and have been panicking about doing well, so much so that I'm starting to actually feel sick. My confidence is really low. Everything I write just sounds so elementary. In the times that I'm not working on the PhD, I sit there stressing about it, and getting myself wound up. I'm so worried about impressing my supervisor, that I actually dread my next meeting with him when I feel I haven't produced substantial results. Has anyone else gone through this? If so, I'd really like to hear about your experiences and how you pulled through. I'm sorry to sound like I'm moaning!
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