To quit or to stay


I have been reading a lot about other PhD student 's frustration here and it's all because I am contemplating on quitting my PhD programme. I have just completed my first year in my PhD programme and I feel research is not for me.I started my PhD mainly because that was the only option available or me after completing my undergraduate studies. I prepared my proposal which my current supervisor accepted before I came here start my PhD studies. Now I must add that I was awarded a PhD fellowship even though I had no master’s degree. I actually applied for some master’s programme abroad which I was rejected and strangely enough when I applied for the PhD programme which I wasn't expecting anyway, It was granted to me.Now my supervisor is a kind person but I literally get no help or assistance on how to go about my new proposal which he insisted after changing my research topic. I am trying hard to find an interest somewhere in the area he proposed but all my efforts proved futile. The other reason has to do with the fact that I have little knowledge on the area and feel handicapped most of time.I been stressed and depressed for some time now even though I have sought help from the schools counselling unit .It's wearing me down and I find it hard to concentrate.I feel my lack of a masters degree is a contributory factor as I have little knowledge on how to conduct my research with literally no guidance . For the past two weeks I have been battling with a chronic headache that seems to get worse when I sit behind my computer to study.I am contemplating on quitting and going for a masters degree in Germany for an MSc programme that will align with my interest.The only thing holding me back is the feeling of disappointment from my family and my supervisor who is nice but is offering no support .


So I wanted to work on methods to develop frugal medical devices for resourced settings.I later learnt my proposal was not enough to be a phD topic.And my advisor proposed a research area which I had no interest in.So after rejecting most of the new topics I presented, I finally gave in to his research proposal on using sentiment analysis for new product design.I struggled with most of the concepts since they were mostly computer science related work which I have less knowledge of especially with regards to coding .After sometime I managed to implement something but i still needed to create a story for my Phd topic..My difficulty has to do with the fact that after reading many research papers in an area I have no interest in, it requires a lot of effort on my part to understand what is presented any research paper an I still end up with no new ideas .I feel ashamed of myself anytime I have to meet my supervisor and have no result to present to him.


I would advise against doing a PhD which clearly is not of interest to you, it will very likely make you ill and it seems this is starting happen. You need to think about why you are doing a PhD. If you feel research is not for you then you would need to think carefully about doing an MSc also as this will have a substantial research element. If the project is the problem then it may not be too late to make changes as you are one year in now. It sounds like your supervisor may not have been a good fit however, despite them being nice, as they rejected your ideas in favour of their own proposal which didn't align with your interests. Maybe taking some time out at this stage and doing something else would be beneficial, you need to look after your health.