I officially start in September and I have MAJOR cold feet, already told my husband I can't do it. I really need to hear some positive comments about those enjoying a PhD. I have a great unique topic, an eager supervisor, a good Uni, I think I am clever enough although I feel pretty thick lately but I just feel totally daunted. Should I be worried or is this a common pre-acceptance of offer cold feet syndrome? Thank you for anyone taking time to write even one positive line.
PinkNeuron, just because we come to the forum to let off steam sometimes, it doesn't mean that we don't enjoy our research. Majority of us do, and it is normal to feel down sometimes... So please don't let the negative threads put you off of the idea.
Why don't you tell us a bit more about why you feel that way, and we can all give you our opinion, and feedback from our experiences?
mmm, not quite sure really, just general cold feet about how big a PhD is and if I am going to cope academically, physically, time-wise and if the whole PhD process will put me off my passion for research, I guess. It is not any thread that has put me off but more just cold feet and if I have cold feet, is this a general feeling or should I take it as a warning that I might get a wobbly later. Sounds dumb, I know, maybe I should cool off one day before posting.
It doesn't sound dumb at all. And I can assure you that you did the best thing by posting here. Unlike some forums on the internet, this one is visited by really decent people who really care about others, and don't mind sharing their experiences if it's going to help.
I think, getting the PhD place itself is a very important achievement. It is an at least 3-year commitment, therefore it is normal to feel worried. But it is not a life or death decision.
Are you going to be giving up so much from your current life, in order to undertake this research? Are you ok with funding? Are you afraid of failing? Are you worried that you are going to disappoint yourself or others? I don't mean to be noisy, but I think all of these can be normal reasons to worry.
and a few links from past conversations:
Pink neuron, it is not all doom and gloom honest! I love this place because I can moan about things that are getting me down but equally, there are loads of things I love about my PhD. I do actually have a great supervisor and I realise how lucky I am. I have learnt so much from doing the PhD and overall, it has been a positive experience.
I am sure you will be fine. I frequently still don't feel 'clever' enough to do a PhD but have come to the conclusion that so much of a Phd is actually about being motivated to keep going, even when it is tough.
I have to admit, I was a bit daunted beforehand and then felt like a fraud for the first term because everyone else seemed alot more intelligent than me. Of course, this was all rather silly as the reason they were alot more intelligent was becuase they 1, 2 or 3 years into their research.
I'm well settled now. cracking on with the research and love it to bits. As long as you know and expect a rollercoaster ride you'll be fine. Go for it, this is the opportunity of a lifetime.
Thanks for all your replies and efforts. I do feel a tiny bit better to know I am not alone. I could name quite a number of reasons why I should feel cold feet but they don't bother me as much as feeling not clever enough, I think. 404, that last post is very interesting, frighteningly so. Although I have never achieved 1sts, I have got my 2.1s for a BA Hons, BSc Hons, MSc and PG Dip and still feeling ability-scared about this PhD. I am sure I will get over it, my family are behind me, I just need to stop thinking. I will keep reading the positive posts....Thanks so much
I'm really loving my PhD experience, too. It is SO GOOD to finally be among people (my supervisor, my fellow students, departmental staff) who work on similar things, think along the same kind of lines... where nearly every single conversation I have proves interesting and worthwile for my own research... to be able to immerse myself completely in my topic and think about nothing else for weeks on time...
Sure, there are some downsides. But it is definitely a tendency for people to just relay their bad experiences and keep silent on the positive ones.
A concrete positive experience: We had a farewell-drinks thing happening for one staff person who was leaving. The centre director, who is on sabbatical and thus rarely to be seen, turns up with an unknown guest. By chance I get to talk to that guest and it turns out he's a real important person in my field who I had been hoping to get a chance to meet for a long time. We had a great conversation, extremely helpful for my research, and when the guest left again he commented to the centre director, who hardly knows me cause he's on sabb, that he has a PhD student there who is working on a really interesting project. So, what started out as a simple social event unexpectedly turned out into a useful networking evening with lots of relevant info on my topic too. I felt boosted for weeks after that.
Luckily I never got time to get cold feet as I applied July started September. I have had a love/hate relationship with my PhD so far but overall I wouldnt change a thing!! I can swim around in the dark for weeks then all of a sudden get this glimmer of enlightenment...which is such a rush...I usually ring my husband and talk at high speed for about 10 mins before drawing breath! My kids are so proud of what I am doing and my husband is thrilled.
It is a big undertaking, in those first few months you will feel at sea and lost, you wuill go through periods of hating your supervisor BUT knowing that what you are doing is unique and worthwhile is one heck of a big reward!
I also had to work hard to get my BA/MA and I have to work hard now to keep up but its worth every second!!!
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