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What does your general daily routine or timetable look like?

I usually write down only a few items, things that I absolutely have to do at work like "Run a gel on sample 12-17", "Do carotenoids extraction on harvest on day so and so" - strictly lab duties. Just a few items like that really already fill up my work hours from 8 to 5 and I try not to let it "spill over".
I wish I have more disciplines to set out for gym hours like everyone here does, definitely something I should have done to get myself more motivated; I'm tired all the time.

Sealioned by ex-supervisor

Quote From glimmerbat:
Thanks. I really can't understand the energy he has invested into trying to force me to drop this paper. I don't know if he doesn't understand it, or is jealous, or is in another research group doing similar things... but the extent to which he has tried to prove there must be mistakes is really stressful. It would be like filming an event five times and then insisting it must be wrong because of a problem with the camera, then lens, then tripod, then memory card, then atmospheric pressure, then the floorboards that the camera tripod is on, then the building where the experiment is located, then vibrations from the street... it's the sheer extent to which he is refusing to engage with the paper content that I am finding so stressful. He just sent me another email completely ignoring all the boundaries I tried to set in the last one. It's like everything I say turns to white noise the minute that I say it. My concern is that our working relationship has deteriorated so much now that he will try to block publication even if I do submit it. He would be a natural choice for referee if he wasn't listed as a coauthor, so I'd have to say something to the journal. No matter what happens, if he doesn't suddenly change his attitude then I probably won't come out of this unscathed.

I just can't understand why he is doing this. Anyway, sorry for ranting...

Can you document all the conversations you have with him and talk to the graduate school or the ethics committee about it? Documentation might also help when you end up submitting the paper without your advisor's name and he has problem with it.

In my own experiences. my previous chair of committee stepped down because we didn't work well together and she passed me on to another advisor who she thought was a better fit, and it was. And she initiated it through the graduate school and communication with this advisor. I imagine you can do the same thing.

Anyway, I understand that you're pretty traumatized at this stage and doing anything more might be too much for you. I'm sorry you had a PhD terrible experience, I don't understand why these terrible advisors exist. We need to mark their doors with something so other students know not to work for them in the future (just a silly thought).

Anyone has a suck- PhD project but still turned out well?

brownsasha943: I created my account on a whim because I needed to talk to someone and got frustrated when asked for my name.....

Thank you for sharing, rewt. Being resourceful definitely helps, and genuine belief in the theory is also a good point.

I need to print out your shared experiences and post it on my office wall as reminders.

Completely changing PhD focus - dilemma

I think it's fortunate to have a passion for your project, and if you feel like someone else might be a better supervisor, it's likely is a good idea. Because you don't want to keep questioning your passion for your project 2 years down the road, that might already be too late to turn back. What I learn the hardest way during a PhD is to be brave, make a decision and stick to it for better or worse; it can only make you respect yourself more if it turns out well, and you only have yourself to blame if it doesn't, but you won't be hateful towards your PhD experience. So definitely really look into the project you're passionate about, don't ignore it and go with the safe way instead. You definitely have more choices in your PhD topic, especially if you're self-driven to get things done even without the support of anyone in your committee. Hope that helps.

Anyone has a suck- PhD project but still turned out well?

Hi glimmerbat, thank you for sharing. My advisor also says the same thing, a null result is still a result and everyone in my committee say that I just need to find an appropriate journal. Looking back, I did learn a lot from my project through just starring at my inconclusive results and reading a lot to come up with possible reasons and ways to work around these challenges, and would love to explore them when I have a chance. I wish I had knocked on more doors like you did, but I only had limited time to do everything I wanted to do, so definitely would try better in the future. Your experiences are very encouraging, thank you again for sharing.

Anyone has a suck- PhD project but still turned out well?

I sketched my own PhD project and research questions but due to limited experiences in the field, it didn't turn out to be what I wanted it to be. I wasn't clear on the trajectory of the project, and was pretty much learning on the job. I got some results but most were inconclusive, and the TLC plates look sad. I wished I had access to other analytical methods, but our instruments keep failing and none of us have any proper training on these instruments so we don't really get things done unless our advisor are present. I wished our lab worked together to figure things out but I didn't have any success doing so. It's just been a very strange, exhausting and not-rewarding experience. I felt that I should have quitted while I was ahead and got another Master in Engineering instead of Biology. I love being able to write and analyze data, but feel that I really suck at experimentation steps. I want to ask if anyone had a really depressing dissertation and still turned out ok, i.e. still got a decent job doing what they wanted or is currently working at scientific institution doing a job related to their PhD experience? I'm just looking for hope here.

Torn and anxious

From my own PhD experience, I did it solely for visa purpose. Not the brightest idea, I do my PhD in biology so it might be very different from your own field. Regardless, I think you should read Black Hole Focus by Isiah Hankel before such a decision. You could start a PhD for 6 months and see if it fits, but do everything in your power to give it a good start, and even so, be prepared to be called a drop-out. Unless you have a dying question to answer and/or an image of yourself that you are dying to achieve which requires a PhD, a failed PhD could leave a permanent scar, very much like a divorce. Especially if you have a good career. So don't start a PhD just because you have an offer and you feel like having it would be nice, or just because. There are so many other ways to learn, and PhD is not the only nor the best way to achieve your career development goals.

If you started your PhD again, what would you do differently?

Wow, so much, I'd do a thousand things differently, but maybe first thing..is not to start it at all?

1) Choose a different major like engineering instead of biology. Could have gotten a second Master instead of trying to go with a PhD just for visa purpose.
2) Take a year of break to really rethink what I really really want to do instead of just hopping and rolling around being uncertain about my own project and research questions
3) Be more proactive in reaching out to other prospective labs and advisors.
4) Have the bravery to say fuck you to GPA and focus more on my own research.
5) Calibrate all the machines in the lab even the most simple one...like a spectrophotometer.
6) Last but also hardest one...refuse to use any machine in the lab without prior proper training.

This is my bitter sweet lesson. I'm surprised no one is revitalizing this thread, it's hot sauce!