Sorry this is a big moan.
My confidence has got worse and worse during my PhD. I've got under 2 weeks to submit before my 4th year deadline, and don't feel I'm on top of my other subject. I feel I'm not good enough, even if I get through as I'm not as knowledgable as the people around me. I really struggle to talk about my subject, and have gaps in my knowledge. I'm leaving academia as it has really knocked my confidence and made my depression a lot worse. My supervisor creates new obstacles/upsets regularly even though he is outwardly pleasant.
Every step through something goes wrong and the end gets further away. With the end of my thesis in sight the printer has broken and I keep getting corrections such as spelling or mistakes in the work that should have been ironed out earlier. I feel so stupid for missing all these things, when I've had so long to get it right. I now have mistakes I need to discuss with a postdoc that she's surprised my supervisor let through. I was going to have it all printed on Friday...
I set myself targets with writing up and I just can't reach them as each one takes longer than expected. I'd had enough months ago, but can't give up. I want it all to be over, but if I want the examiner who will be good for my confidence I will have to wait until at least December and drag it out longer. I'm not sure whether to pick someone else who will be gentle and have an earlier viva, or wait.
I feel a failure for taking most of a year to write, and have done nothing much else except look for jobs, and have worked 1 week in total.
I feel I can't live up to my PhD, and I'm struggling to get temp jobs, let alone a graduate level job. I'm now competing with people with PhDs that are cleverer than me, and/or people with bags more confidence.
cc. i think i understand completely where you are coming from. i appreciate the feedback and support you have given on this website to myself and other people, it helps. i have just finished first year and doing a phd has knocked my confidence so much. my first year viva is on friday. i should have been studying for it today. but could do no work. the pressure is really getting to me. even after my viva, i have to present at a conference in six weeks and dont have much to show myself.. i really enjoy research but 2-3 more years of this will suck the life out of me :(
sounds like you need a hot bath with some relaxing stuff in it. and then someone to rub you dry and give you a good cuddle.
any chance you could go somewhere for these last two weeks where you could be pampered? it's only for two weeks after all. there must be someone... for these last days that would help to focus totally on your PhD, and get it all done with.
don't worry now about the quality of your work. just get it submitted. even if it isn't brilliant, it IS going to be good enough. you can tackle your confidence afterwards - for now, just do as good as you can, because that is good enough.
i feel for you - and wish you perseverance and strength for the last mile!
oh u should definately relax! ive only started so i know ive no idea of just how stressful it is at the end but reading through this forum has given me a bit of a clue! the most important thing is to relax now, theres no point working away if ur getting nowhere, it'll only make u feel worse. you should take a day or two at least and go to a spa or just get a good book and go sit in a coffee shop reading it or something, take urself away from the lab or wherever u do ur work, esp if its at home and take time out. it will help so much, i almost had a breakdown in my final year and i had to stop and get away and it really helped.
good luck and remember, if uve got this far, u must be doing something right so just keep on gonig, its nearly all over!
BIG HUG! I can COMPLETELY sympathise with you - I submit next week, and this last phase of editing has been a complete and utter nightmare. Every comment or spelling mistake from my supervisors or proof readers knocks my confidence - so much so that Saturday I thought the whole thing was so crap I may as well just give up and throw it in the bin. I've been analysing and writing up for TWO YEARS (my last data collection was October 2005). And I was shocked at how badly I'd written most of my chapters - am I so useless I can't even write a coherent sentence? I'm feeling better now... just accept it won't be perfect (sod the spelling mistakes!), and take a break - for me it was a walk in the fresh air with a friend, and an early night. I actually feel vaguely human now. Got to the stage where I'm submitting faults and all... you'll make it if I can! GOOD LUCK
cc - you're my new best friend I'm trying to write up too, and am really struggling. In fact, I fell out with you a little bit when you said you were ready to print because I want that SO badly! I'm actually planning to submit by the end of September (the end of my fourth year too). I can totally empathise with what you said: "I set myself targets with writing up and I just can't reach them as each one takes longer than expected". I feel so stupid because each time I say 'I'll have that finished tomorrow' I actually believe it, and it NEVER happens. I can't relax until the thing's done, although that's the advice I would have given someone a few months ago, before I started writing up. I also agree with someone else who posted recently saying that they found writing as an undergrad. so much easier - maybe we're just out of practise or something.
In fact, I fell out with you a little bit when you said you were ready to print because I want that SO badly!
I was in tears when I thought the other person in my lab was going to finish, and celebrate and I wasn't. We said we'd both go out together with the lab today to celebrate. I was so relived when they were doing lab work(!) and said they couldn't finish this week either
Getting the last set of postdoc corrections has really helped as although I've now got to work on the chapter again, I think it will be much stronger in the viva and I feel I understand bits I didn't.
Good luck Sue! I thought you'd finished ages ago before you postdoc-I take it you just started before you'd finished your PhD?
My main gripe with myself is that I've not worked or done anything useful and yet I'm still finishing at the last minute and struggling to understand everything I need to.
I'm not a postdoc - and probably never will be (by choice)! Did I say something to make you think that?
I 've only been writing up for a few months - I chose to stay in the lab to try and get some last minute results. It kinda worked, so I don't regret it, even though I'm maybe paying for it now.
Hugs Sue & cc - nice to know i'm not the only one out there in the same boat... one of my PhD colleagues submitted last Friday and that was great but wierd - felt like I still had so far to go. So much editing still to go. Now... onto editing my worst chapter... i.e. how not to write a thesis... aka... how to write a thesis and induce sleep in anyone who tries to read it. I'm beginning to think I'm not working hard when I go to bed at midnight and get up at 7am... how out of kilter... roll on submission (I have to submit by the end of the month too, but promised my boyf that I'd submit by his birthday next Friday... so that's the plan). Good luck
Luckily an associated group has a fantastic printer
Again it's wierd when people in your year have their viva
One guy was in our group too and originally wanted a bet on who would finish first-I didn't take it as I knew I'd take ages if only because my supervisor is slow at reading....
senthilin20 you might get better replies if you start a thread or join a thread about starting PhDs. I'm in science so can't help, sorry.
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