I'm submitting end of September.
Still have to write my intro (most of which I hope to copy and paste from my upgrade document); write my discussion (that will be serious stream of consciousness); revise two of the three content chapters; and do all the nasty formatting.
I'm also working three days a week, so can only devote three days a week to the PhD completion.
I have almost entirely hated the PhD process. In the whole four years I have enjoyed about three hours of it. I have allowed it to turn me into a complete arsehole.
Never mind - it is nearly over.
Wondered who else was out there submitting very soon. Especially keen to communicate with those who still feel they have a sh*tload to do. We can make it!
Same here although I don't have a set date for submission. All I know is that I have until November 1st before I'm liable to pay fees so I'm trying to get everything done by then! Just submitted Chapter 4 for feedback this afternoon. I'm yet to do the Intro (I kinda wrote most it before but it needs updating) and the Conclusion Chapters. I'm just about to start working on the feedback/comments/corrections for Chapters 2 and 3.
We will get there! We've come this far...it's just a matter of dragging ourselves to the finish line now :)
Thanks so much, Chococake. What stage are you at?
Actually Cherub in terms of content it sounds like we have a similar amount to do, though I need to get mine done sooner!
Just want to say to everyone that I have been the worst PhD student ever. I'm submitting a year after my funding ran out (although still within the funders' deadline, just); I was plagued by anxiety and unprecedented depression throughout; and I agonised over every research decision I made, sometimes for weeks at a time.
So if even I'm getting near the finish line, anyone can do it!
I wanted to check though that you are getting proper professional help with the anxiety and depression. Because as DocInsanity wisely says, things are not necessarily going to get easier for you in future.
I have generalised anxiety disorder, so am speaking from some knowledge here. It was an issue for much of my part-time history PhD, but diagnosis and then effective treatment (a SSRI that really helped, and I'm still "me" personality-wise) made a big difference to me.
At the very least you should be seeing a medical professional about this. And they should be considering doing something concrete to help, like trying to find a suitable SSRI (don't be afraid to take pills - they can really help), and/or counselling, and/or cognitive behavioural therapy (though there are very long waiting lists for that, at least in the UK).
Thanks Bilbo and DocInsanity.
In all honesty I am not that bothered about getting an academic position.
By a lucky twist of fate I have wound up at a school of public health, not because my background is actually in this, but because of my research topic and my supervisor's career trajectory. What this actually means is that there are often bits and bobs of short-term research and teaching work, which are enough to pay the rent for the time being.
In the medium-long term I plan to return to the outside world again, where I worked before, as I think I'm better suited to it than to academia. A whole bunch of organisations need research skills.
The depression and anxiety have been awful, but I think I'm through the worst of it. I did get counselling and therapy. I went to the GP but I didn't like the drug side effects. There are multiple reasons why the worst of the mental health problems have abated, but I also recognise the need to keep my eye on it.
I really empathise with anyone blighted by mental health problems during their PhD: if only people would talk about them more honestly. I think it is a sector where people often only value themselves for their achievements, and frankly a human being is bigger, more complex and more wonderful than just those.
I am just going into my third year, but also wanted to say good luck. Ogriv, you sound very self-aware and nothing like an arsehole :) I am questioning whether to apply for any academic positions in the future, for much the same reasons you described - there really is a lot more to life.
I'm in a very similar position to you - I also will be submitting mid-end of Sept, which is 1 year after my funding ended and I still have virtually all of my intro chapter to write, half a discussion and revisions/formatting to the entire thesis. It's been an awful four years, I've hated virtually everything about my project and the department I've been working in. As much as I would never wish this on anybody, I have to admit I'm relieved to hear of someone in the same boat who found the PhD process to be awful, because every other PhD student I've met in the last four years has done nothing but talk about how much they love their project!! I always found it so hard to listen to! (Probably a sign that the PhD has turned me into a total cow!)
Anyway, I completely understand what you mean about wanting it to be over and we're nearly there now! Good luck with the writing and it'd be great to hear how you're getting on in the final weeks.
Just as a side note - after I posted I read through all the comments properly and I want to say Ogriv that I'm so sorry to hear of your problems with depression and anxiety during the PhD, I did not mean for my post to sound flippant! It sounds like you've been through a lot and should be really proud of getting to the end of the PhD, it's hard enough without having problems with depression. Very glad to hear you're through the worst of this, and would be great to hear how things are going with the write up!
Hello everyone! My final deadline is also late Sept...but I start my new full-time school teaching job on the 1st of Sept and want to finish by then. I still have 1 data chapter to analyse/write, a crap intro that my supervisor has had since Jan but refuses to look at as he thinks it's terrible and wants me to finish everything else first and I need to revise the other chapters and write a discussion. I have three weeks and I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed! I'm a very slow writer but I'm hoping I will somehow miraculously become good at it in these final weeks. I have to say I didn't hate most of my PhD as I liked the topic, but data analysis and writing have been awful and I can't wait to say goodbye to this stupid thesis! Although I feel like I'll be stuck with it for another year as major corrections are pretty likely...yay! Sorry about the rant, I'm just glad to find others in a similar situation, lets get these theses finished!
Cheers Chickpea and Tulip (Does that sound like the name of a pub? the Chickpea and Tulip).
Yes, I'm not really suited to academic research as I think I'm more of a generalist than a specialist. I like thinking laterally between different areas and mediating between them, not staying in one area. I also prefer much shorter projects. I once did a sort of work skills battery which corroborated this about me. So doing the PhD for me was like being trapped down a deep well.
Caro - I think submitting it on time is a really good idea even if it's slightly ropey. I spoke to someone months ago who said she'd submitted hers at a point when she still thought it was quite dodgy, but she just wanted to be done with it. Anyway, she ended up emerging with minor corrections just like everyone else in her cohort, including those who had submitted something near-perfect. I also know someone who got major corrections despite good work simply because he had examiners who didn't understand his theoretical framework. As ever, I think the best line of attack is to decide which chunks you will do each day, so as not to get overwhelmed.
My friend who got her PhD 10 years ago said that in the final months her mantra was "Dumb, but Done" whenever she was worried about quality.
I probably will be posting on here intermittently so as not to get lonely over the next few weeks. So speak soon, Caro and Tulip and anyone else.
My deadline for submission is also the end of September (by then it will have been four years) and that's when I'm planning on submitting. I've had problems with anxiety as well and actually found the first year of the PhD the most difficult - I've got more 'into it' as time has gone on and, although I've found some bits hard, have generally enjoyed the last year. Part of me feels bad for taking so long to submit (it's not even like I have another job or anything, although I'm planning on taking up odd jobs in September once I've submitted, I'm just really slow!) Come September I'll take up some part time work and teaching in the department which should keep me going until I find a regular job. Not sure if I want to stay in academia - some of it I've really enjoyed but there's been bits I've found hard and it's really competitive.
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