Basically, I've only been doing my PhD for a month now and I have weekly meetings with my supervisors. At each meeting, I'll end up saying something stupid or wrong or I can't answer their questions! It's driving me insane, they must wonder why the hell they hired me! I do all my reading, I stay up late to plan the meeting, write topics to discuss; today I woke up at 4.00 just to make sure I knew everything inside out before we started and I was just as bad as the previous week. Does anyone else feel this way with their PhD, or did feel this way?
Someone please tell me that looking like an idiot is a rite of passage or something!
If you're only a month in, then you're probably taking it too seriously as yet.
But don't take that to extremes!
Welcome to PhD life. This feeling never goes away. I know of established professors who feel this way. However, if this is really stressing you out then have an honest conversation about it with your supervisor (or someone else if your sup isn't someone you feel comfortable approaching about these things) and think through constructive ways to get on top of your work.
Like some of the others say a PhD is a process and learning and adaptation. Your supervisors shouldn't expect you to know everything but you should know enough to ask the right questions of them - early on at least - and as the PhD progresses their questions should be more about your own work. My understanding is that an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject is not really necessary in most disciplines because there is a limit to the sorts of questions you'll need to be able to answer.
That said, I've very much felt like I've not been smart enough to manage over the years and yet I'm due to submit my thesis early next year and surely I can't have come this far if I wasn't able. I think its something a lot of students feel. When someone presents work that looks like a flawlessly smooth process, staff or student, know that the chances are they've struggled just as much as you feel you might have.
I hear you there! It can be really hard to maintain your competence when you re learning so much at such a high level. What really helps is having a support system. Its even harder to deal with the implications feeling alone in graduate school when you are alone in that. Know you are not alone!
Masters DegreesSearch For Masters Degrees
An active and supportive community.
Support and advice from your peers.
Your postgraduate questions answered.
Use your experience to help others.
Enter your email address below to get started with your forum account
Enter your username below to login to your account
An email has been sent to your email account along with instructions on how to reset your password. If you do not recieve your email, or have any futher problems accessing your account, then please contact our customer support.
or continue as guest