Newbie and already frustrated!


Im sorta still new in the PhD and already I can relate to some of the frustrations that people are going through in all years...right now im suffering from procrastination and the ability not to concentrate AT ALL and it feels like basically my topic is somewhere up in space but definitely not in my i feel like I have piled myself even higher and deeper into......well need i say more!


Well you're not alone! I've just started and have less idea what my thesis is about now that I did 6 months ago...but its only the first year, I'm sure it'll fall into place! I'm finding the isolation in my new uni pretty depressing, I seem to spend hours by myself reading (or rather, thinking about actually doing some reading) only to come home to my shared house where noone seems to talk to each other- its just general doom at my end!! Still, its still better than being in a corporate slave


It is funny how when you start you have this ambitious drive and it gets killed each day you realise that you have to narrow down your topic even further. But it is true about the isolation but in my case I am partly to blame coz I feel like no one will understand what Im about. Today I went to the library with the intention of coming out with some relevant information and all I did was sit and stare out the window. I definitely was not prepared for this pressure


if it helps - i've been there and am almost finding my way out of this tunnel. just read something and do something everyday. soon everything will fall into place.


I can totally understand how you're feeling! I've posted several threads about this. I have yet to produce a piece of writing, and every time I attempt to sit down and work on something, it feels like my mind is somewhere else. It's quite scary because, as you said, when you start the PhD, you're full of beans about your topic, so excited and reved up. Where did that feeling go?! I'm worried about this 'can't be bothered' attitude that I seem to have adopted. You just hope that it will shift soon and you'll get that excitement back!


I think what creates these feelings we're having is the enormity of the PhD, and the amount of material we're dealing with. It's not surprising that your brain goes into meltdown at the prospect of all this reading and processing. I'm sure that's part of it for me.


Thats exactly what Im going through. I cant be bothered sorta stage coz I have lost faith in myself in just a span of 6 months...and the supervision is like going to my doom but I have tried to maintain a healthy attitude by thinking it is positive criticism but the mind plays tricks on end off thinking the worst and I think I just have to figure out a way as u said to get my excitement back about the topic which is sooooo hard!


Staying motivated is the trick, isn't it?! And easier said than done. Again, I think that on a small daily basis, a comfortable place to study once in awhile is important--I cannot believe the difference that having some music on while I work makes--it makes all the difference! Obviously cannot do that every day and in every place, but when I know I need to do some serious writing or reading, I can try to do it in that place with my fav. music at hand! Try not to think of supervision as something personal--its not about YOU its about your work--and you SHOULD be getting comments that tell you how to do better--that is the point. Its not a judgment on your worth, its on marking the progress of your work. Try taking the comments to heart in a sense of really addressing them and having something responsive for the next supervision session. If there was nothing to critique in your work, what would the point of a PhD be?


Pilledevenhigher- I'm six months into the PhD like you. I'm so surprised to be feeling like this already. I think one thing that's sort of bugging me is that I've stopped worrying about what my supervisor thinks of me. With the worry about how he perceived me, I was motivated to do better, but now, I'm not bothered. I've gone from one extreme to the other! I wonder if the six month blues is something that alot of people experience. I know that you go through extreme highs and lows with the PhD, but I haven't hit any highs yet! The highest I've felt is when I started, but it seems to have spiralled since then. Maybe it's just about riding it out and accepting that we're feeling rubbish, and hopefully will be feeling better again.


My friend had a go at me last night for being so wrapped up in the PhD, reminding me that people all over the world were dealing with much bigger problems. I felt embarrassed because I knew he was right. I didn't realise just how ridiculous my 'problems' were until I spoke with a woman this morning who is fighting a long-term illness, amongst other issues in her life. I felt so stupid. If I had to explain to her what was getting me down, I just couldn't. It would sound absolutely ridiculous. I wish I could get a better perspective on life. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own problems that I forget that there's a world out there where people are really fighting to survive. I guess we all get consumed in our own little worries, but it's funny how silly they sound when you think of explaining them to someone who's really battling through life. I just thought I'd share that. Hope I haven't gotten anyone down!


bellaz, I see exactly what you mean. However, don't beat yourself up about it. You have a right to feel however you feel. It's perfectly okay for you to be wound up about the PhD because it's probably the most important thing happening in your life right now. There's no hierarchy of problems so don't think that you have no right to be feeling the way that you do because someone else is going through something much worse. I understand what you mean about perspective but I don't think that means that your problems are ridiculous because they seem so in comparison to someone else's. I hope I'm making sense. Anyway, I wanted to let you know that you have no reason to feel ashamed.


When I know that i'm in the midst of procastination - i try to motivate myself doin something that I enjoy like open two windows on my laptop: one is my hi5 and another is my draft. I switch it every fifteen minutes until I feel that I can work only on my draft. Just like eating lollies with medicine. It's not a really good way but it works anyway...