A crises of confidence


I've always been reasonably confident about my academic ability. I went to uni as a mature student and did well at undergraduate, feeling like I'd finally found something I was good at.

However.... now I'm in the middle of re-drafting my thesis for submission, that confidence has dissolved. I was very late in getting my supervisor to give me feedback on my written work and initially this was manageable ("clarify this", "connect to theory", "remember to use past tense" etc...) but since I sent him the full second draft of the thesis, he has ripped it apart stating that he is confused, finds it uninteresting and the early chapters lack in theory. I've been told that every chapters "needs lots of work" except 2 of my empirical chapters which are "well written and interesting" which did take the edge of it all a bit.

I just feel as if he could have said a lot of this a lot sooner. He is under the impression that I'll be ready to submit in 2-3 weeks time (I work 30 hours a week too) which suggests it must be OK but his comments and criticisms suggest otherwise. I'm confused and my confidence has really dropped.

Has anyone else suffered from low-confidence pre-submission or had a similar experience with feedback?

Thanks for reading!



I wouldn't worry too much about it, honestly. He's probably just having a hyper-critical day. Some supervisors get like this to prepare their students being ripped to shreds in the viva.

Plus, it's only his opinion - the examiners may think totally differently anyway. I've watched students that in my mind have done the bare minimum (and our supervisors have said this to them too) sail through their viva with just one extra page to write as corrections.

Just do what you can and I'm sure it will be great.