I wonder how many of you thought about changing supervisors or just give up the phd or move to another lab?
Is it ok to suffer like an animal (small exaggeration... or maybe not) until the end without any help from the supervisors, to end up with a phd title... for what you have given years of you life with no joy. In the end you should thank your supervisors for all the "support".
I lost all my motivation sometime ago, read all type of info about "what you should expect from a phd"... but it only makes me fell even worse.
I've talked with people that had to work 7 days a week for workaholic supervisors, crazy supervisors.. what about non-existent-supervisors? I have no problems to work like a crazy person... but I am kind of tired of working like a crazy person in the dark, in a new subject I never seem before with no supervision, no post-doc student around, no one to talk/discuss...
I'm not sure what to say but if that's your experience I feel sorry for you. My sups provided minimal input, in my opinion, and it did choke me having to thank them for all the "support". Thankfully, the project I was doing, while of no real interest to me, was pretty straightforward to do but I did feel very frustrated at the lack of feedback. Things would have been much worse if the project had of been difficult. It depends on how far in you are etc etc. You have my sympathy.
I am in the same situation. I just started my phd four months ago. I lost my motivation also due to a lot of things that have happened in my personal life. I feel like quiting to be honest. Also its a subject i just realised i dont have nay interest in and i dont even know. I thought getting a phd first was important now i realise that its important you choose the right topic also. I feel so down sometimes and want to just kill myself. But I realise that I have to be very strong at this. My supervisor treats me like am stupid he doesnt even try to help. But I have to be strong coz I will regret it more if I just quit. I wouldnt be able to live with myself if i just leave it. Also leaving will mean I have failed at something and I dont like to fail. Also I realise if I read everything will be ok coz a phd is not hard seriously its the shit pple you work with that make it hard. So I suggest you sit down and make a plan like I have of what are my aims and what I want to achieve by the end of my first year.Then make a schedule of what u are going to do every week to achieve those goals. Read on ur subject research. I find it very helpful and I am going to start this new year on a positive note.
What year are you?
We can exchange emails and just motivate each other.
I clearly remember during the first year the feeling of loneliness I experienced due to the absence of people to talk to. I didn't miss the pub conversation, I missed conversations with peers that would put my thoughts in order. I was the only student researching on a multidisciplinary topic. It was getting back, it was almost like I had a terrible secret I could not share with anyone. My supervisor comes from a different background, and could not advise me. By the way, I really appreciate his approach; if he doesn't know something he just admits it. It gives me even more trust in him, because I know that if he says something it has to be right.
After almost 9 months I completed a first literature review draft with detailed notes of all the papers I read, and compared them highlighting all the contradictions and uncertainties. Unfortunately this document was really long- it was more than 30.000 words and more than a 100 pages with lots of tables and graphs I produced. The massive size of the document scared my supervisor who didn't read it as I realised from the poor feedback. I have to say that was one of the most demotivating experiences of the PhD. I felt all these months of work were for nothing. If no one wants to read it, not even your supervisor, then what is the point?
I tried to reduce the document and most importantly I bound the tables and the references in a separate "Appendix" book (so it looked less scary), and gave it to him before a long international flight (so he got stuck and bored in the airplane), made clear that I have produced all the graphs included, and this is how he finally read it. He liked it, and we published it. After that point, it was easier to discuss too as I have managed to communicate my thoughts with him in the best possible way. It felt like we were coming out of mist.
Although at times I felt like all my motivation evaporated in one second, most of the time I am really happy I am doing a PhD. You just really need to keep going.
I have changed supervisors, it was a hard decision and is not quite finalised yet, but wil be soon. My original sups were just too busy really, and had their own agenda, which would probably have been OK as they would get the right people to examine it who were on their wavelength, but the problem was it really changed the focus I was aiming for, and I spent the best part of last year trying to work out how I could remain true to my original thoughts whilst taking the angle that I know they wanted, without any real chance to discuss the problems as they were never available. The process of change was traumatic and lengthy as there was no-one who wanted to take it on and there was a failed attempt here too. However someone has been found, and it all seems to be going well so far...except that I have to start again with the chapters that had already been signed off as being very good, because of the change in the way my now supervisors thinkthe material should be presented. However the process will, I think produce a better end product - I hope. Having someone who is willing to put in the effort to guide you through the process is worth the angst you will feel about making the change, when I found out the amount of help others were getting it was obvious that my supervision was falling well short of the mark, even for other part timers, and that is when I decided to do something about it, do it sooner rather than later and you won't regret it.
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