This is the final year of my extension, and I'm still struggling with the thesis. It's only completed by half until now, my supervisor told me he does not think I can make the PhD. He thought I'm not capable of doing independent research and I'm lack of creativity. To be honest I just don't enjoy it, the whole phd is a disaster. I tried my best and work long hours, but it just made me feel so bad when showing the results to my supervisor. He thought I didn't make any progress and didn't know how to explore those problems. I'm so stressful and frustrated. Maybe I'm not a research guy, not born like that. I've done 4 years and a half, now I still have six months time, but I don't know if I should continue. My supervisor will still help me if I decide to continue. I wasted more than four years time, am I going to waste more? I should have quit on my first year, but now everything is too late. I've already reached the maximum extension of the PhD in my university, and I have to submit the thesis by next February. Now the question is, should I stick to the deadline and see what happens, or quit the PhD now?
What else will you do?
Literally, 6 months to go. You have done 4 years of work so far and it sounds like you and your supervisor don't believe in your abilities. But you have an extension and have 6 months to finish. I repeat, 6 months to finish.
You can finish now or try your absolute best in full knowledge that you probably won't pass. Yet you can say that you tried your best and produced a final thesis. You won't enjoy it and may regret not quitting earlier, but you will have closure on this. The PhD will be over knowing you couldn't do any better, not that you quit
This is a hard question but I would spend 6 months to produce my absolute best and plan my future starting in February. Unless you have something else better to do?
My friend did this and got a total rewrite which gave her an extra year after the Viva. Could you do this? I would try to get through the next 6 months. Could you take a short break to get some energy together?
Why is your supervisor willing to help you if he says it won't pass? Shouldn't he be forcing you to go to the panel for an MPhil downgrade if that is the case? Are you sure he is not trying this tactic called negative motivation? Also, why did he wait till now to tell you this? It sounds more like something has gone wrong with the project, he has become aware of it, and is now putting the buck on you. Maybe?
If you don't already have something else to go to then it's probably going to take you at least several months to find a job. So personally I'd be knuckling down with a structured plan on how to finish my PhD in that 6 months and going for it.
There's nothing to stop you looking for jobs in the meantime and applying for any that seem like a good fit. If you get offered something, then you can look at how the progress is going and how long you have left, but to me it seems a shame to throw it all in now when you've already worked so hard
Hi Softykitty. I am sorry that you had to go through this. I was exactly in the same situation. Every year I ask myself, should I quit now? I ended up spending 5 years with no PhD and then my contract finished and I had no material written, no new concepts and no good experimental results also. I say to myself I should have left after 1 years or even 4 years were better than 5.
I know exactly how you feel like no one else knows. I know that 6 months wasting is not nice and not easy. 4 1/2 years is still better than 5. But if I were you, I would look if I have something to write. If you can write a thesis whatever its quality, just write and submit and put all this behind. You do not know what will happen. My case was a bit different because the university here gives the PhD supervisor the power to allow you to submit or not. So I would not be able to submit until he sees I have enough work. The supervisor in Germany is the main (and practically the only) examiner. If you are in the UK, you can submit a complete thesis with the best quality you can and leave it for the examiners to decide. You may be surprised by passing with minor correction or even resubmit.
It's totally the wrong time to be worrying about whether you are any good or not.
Time is of the essence. Just get the thesis written and worry about the rest of it in March.
The only thing you can do to make your situation worse is to voluntarily do something which will leave a near 5 year gap in your CV.
So, find a way of sucking it up and get the thesis finished.
Hi Softykitty. I think I know what my problem was. My supervisor was stuck with some ideas with previous PhD student and was not willing to accept anything from me. He was demotivating me and I was not strong enough to work hard or confront him. Moreover, my work depended a lot on some design and experimental work which I did not perform well. So to be honest I say it was 50-50 my fault and my supervisors fault the overall thing. My major problem was not concentrating to finish something and get somehow accepted results. Also when I am demotivated I do not work well. You can see my blog for more details :)
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