My supervisor left for Australia whilst I was on fieldwork. Now I am back in the country, moved from Brum to Bath and haven't touched my PhD for months. I am bored, scared and lost. She promised to keep in touch, but she hasn't commented on my latest paper. I seem to have forgotten what my PhD is all about as I am trying to earn some money and look after my 7 year-old. On a daily basis I feel like I am losing my mind and feel very depressed when I think about the amount of money I spent funding my PhD and the fieldwork notes rotting away in the airing cupboard. Worst of all, we're in a new place and I don't know anybody except my husband and my son. Everybody I know seems to talk about children all the time and it is like, I have a son and his life is structuring my boredom but I don't have to talk about him all the time.
Sounds like you desperately need a new supervisor and some regular deadlines. I have a 3 yr-old, work from home and rarely see my supervisor. I did get very lost and fed up in the middle years - but feel much better now I'm writing up and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Contact your head of dept directly and explain that you must have a UK-based supervisor. Is there a conference presentation that you could work towards as an interim goal?
There may also be some kind of student-parents group at the university that you could contact to find more like-minded souls. It can be a bit of a no-man's land - neither working with colleagues nor a full-time mum.
That's a helpful advise smilondon but u see, I took a year out from Brum coz I found out through a PhD friend that her main supervisor, who is also my co-supervisor, used her fieldwork data and published a journal article without acknowledging my friend. I am very shocked by that but it was one of my reason to take a year out. I attended a conference in Singapore in December and am still awaiting comments from my old supervisor about revising my paper for publication. Am also in the process of transferring my PhD to Bath Uni just to finish it but on a daily basis, I am hanging by the thread. Doing a phd is already isolating and not to have news - even a bad one- is just killing my brain.
How long since ur Prof has kept in touch with u last? How important is this paper that u r writting?? Is this to publish urgently?? And do u have a second supervisor whom u can contact? If yes, please do so.... If u think u cant wait for any more time, please contact ur head of the department so that he can get ur Prof to do his job.
I can sort of understand ur situation, new place, strange people and ur supervisor is kinda 'missing'.. must be very stressful. But, just hang in there... u will get used to the new place and as time passes by stangers will turn into friends... and u will be more motivated to work. Till then try and get how much ever work u can do without any guidance....
I really appreciate your support guys because I am really drowning and there are not many people I can turn to. I googled 'bored, lonely, and lost PhD student' and stumbled into this forum and it is comforting to know that I can do a bit of legitimate moaning. Our last supervision email was in August and this paper I presented has been tentatively accepted by ISEAS for publication with Sojourn, it requires some revision but it has now been two months and no news from my supervisor. I know she is officially not attached to Brum anymore but she promised to keep in touch. Am I expecting too much? ;-)
ur last e-mail was almost half a year ago...... and u r still waiting????? y??????? either u r very positive person or u trust her a lot and r waiting for her reply.... Trust me.... I dont think that ur supervisor will give u a feedback... sorry to be so blunt,!!! but i just want u to move on ... and see wat else u can do.... maybe just get this paper published alll by urself.....
I think you can definitely write this lady off as far as supervision is concerned. Editing 13,000 words is a lot to do as an unofficial supervisor. While you are waiting for your new supervisor to be made official, could you explain to your new head of dept that you need feedback on a paper and have someone there take a look at it?
This can all be sorted out - it justs needs time. You are in a difficult in between phase. But you WILL get a new supervisor - and I do think you should ask your head of dept if you can get some interim feedback. The new uni should also have a student counselling service which I thoroughly recommend you make use of. Try to look forwards and not backward.
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