Wake-up call (post viva)


One of my PhD friends who started the same time as me has just passed with minor corrections and was awarded with a long term post doc position in my old departments and will be supervised by my supervisors. I'm delighted for her, but I can't help but kick myself as her success is forcing me to look at my own performance.

I feel like I've failed :-( and seriously lagging behind everyone else. If I had pulled my socks up a long time ago, I could have finished my PhD by now, working in prestigious postdoc positions and free from this PhD nightmare.

My colleagues pass with minor corrections is the biggest wake up call. I'm the only one who is stopping me from finishing this PhD. My level of continuous poor motivation, apathy and procrastination are just not helping me at all and probably damaging me in the long term. Onwards to more productive thinking. I intend to lock myself away for a few months and literally just hammer this thesis until it's up to passable PhD standard.

Just wanted to share this with my lovely PhD-ers.


Hi Pineapple

I just said this on my thread but it is worth saying again. Keep going and just plough on - you cant help but get there if you just keep at it. Corrections are really boring and hard, but once they are done and you pass (and I remember your exomainers saying really nice things about your thesis) you will have your PhD same as the others, and a lot of life skills that you have developed over the way. If you think about all the messing about you have coped with, the tenacity you have shown, and the sheer hard work you have proven yourself capable of you have gained a lot more than just a PhD
We all work at our own pace. Don't feel like you failed, because you haven't. If this was easy, everyone would have a PhD


Oh Pineapple, I really understand how you feel. I'm in a similar sort of situation, end of 3rd year, having to go into a 4th - sup says PhD not reaching standard yet, needs more work. And like you, I am looking around dept at other colleagues who are being asked to help on projects, give extra presentations etc and thinking that I am in this situation because of my own shortcomings. I should have worked harder etc. But unfortunately life got in the way, and I allowed some personal things to distract me. So, like you Pineapple, I just have to get on with it now, and just work hard to get it finished. But I do wish I had done things differently. But you have passed Pineapple which is something to be proud of - you will get those corrections done. Be positive. Wishing you all the best :-)



I would'nt try to compare yourself with anybody else, just try and do the best you can. Perhaps these other people who are finishing before you had a much smoother ride through the PhD process, better superviser or are just luckier, or are simply better at it. I would concentrate upon doing the best you can, not worrying about what other people have done/are doing.

There will always be someone better than you, and someone who is worse than you, that's how it goes

good luck with the writing up


I agree there's nothing to be gained by comparing yourself to others. That is good advice for PhD students in general, who can do themselves no good by comparing themselves to others seemingly doing better, and to people who've submitted and are dealing with corrections, or, like you, a resubmission.

Just get on with what you need to do. You have plenty of time to do it, and plenty of time to do it in. So keep sticking at it. Yes it's a slog. Yes it's a pain. But you need to stick at it to get to the end goal. So persevere. Getting a PhD is a marathon not a sprint. I was a part-time PhD student over 6 years and learned that lesson very clearly. There's no easy quick end to this process.

How are you getting on with the corrections? Do you have any sense of progress yet? Do you have a to-do list that you are ticking things off for example? Or are you still grappling with figuring out the big changes to make before you start getting down to the nitty gritty?


One thing I've learned since finishing...it's not a race, just do the best you can and you will get there. Don't compare yourself to others, it does no good and everyones situation/personality is different. Plus, there are bugger all jobs out there, so no point rushing to finish to sign on... :) Cynical I know, but just remember you only get one shot at this, so make the most of it. And if you need a break, take it, don't shut yourself away to hammer it out, it won't help in the long run.


Hey Pineapple! Please stop giving yourself such a hard time. You've been through so much, and I know the relief of getting through the viva has probably faded now that you're in the reality of corrections and resubmission, but you're a strong character and you will succeed. I know we all have our moments of poor motivation and procrastination, but a person with continuous poor motivation would not have got through what you've got through and come out of the other side. I really admire you for sticking with it after everything you went through with the change in examiner and viva dates etc....not many people would have ploughed on so well in the face of that.

And yeah, don't do the comparison thing to yourself. In a few months you will be the person with a completed PhD that others will be looking up to, and admiring! You do need to just push on with it, but be kind to yourself at the same time. Everyone on here has faith in you and I'm sure many are already looking up to you :) Best, KB


======= Date Modified 14 Nov 2011 13:20:27 =======
Just thought I would give you all an update.

Well things PhD wise seem to be improving- I started again with my literature review chapters by transferring only the basic essentials into my new draft and either summarising or deleting the extra detail. I'm also ensuring to be evaluative all the way through. Looking through completed successful PhDs has really helped me see the sort of standard expected and is also helping me to see how much work I've actually put into this PhD.......(Ok not trying to blow my own trumpet here, just trying to build up my self confidence a bit :))

Really hoping to have a complete resubmit draft by March 2012 with a view to graduate in July 2012 (although realistically, graduation will probably be in November 2012)

Job wise, well after months of fruitless job searching, I've now managed to obtain 2 part time non graduate jobs which will definitely help build up experience working with people for my eventual career as a chartered psychologist. In total, roughly around 24 hours a week. I reluctantly had to take all my postgraduate qualifications off my cv (MSc, MSc, PGCert, PhD) to land these jobs. Anyway, at least I've got some money coming in I guess and I know this experience will show that I haven't just worked in research or in academic settings! These jobs are extremely relevant to my PhD stuff, so I'm hoping this will also benefit my thesis. I had to start looking for work as I can't keep living like this with literally no money! I already feel like some sort of sponger relying on the good will of my dad and family, so at least I can pay my way to some extent.

However, I'm going to have to be super efficient with my time management skills if I'm going to pull this off! Yikes! Just hope I'm not taking too much on here.

Again, need to keep focused on the extremely positive feedback from my examiners and that they will award me with a PhD (and not an MPhil) subject to complying with their requests.


Sounds like you're making progress Pinapple. And well done on the jobs. OUt of interest, when you took all your post grad stuff off your CV, what did you say you'd been up to for the last few years? I've been thinking of applying for stuff and removing my PhD but I need to explain what I'v e been doing with my time.


======= Date Modified 14 Nov 2011 14:34:56 =======

Quote From catalinbond:

Sounds like you're making progress Pinapple. And well done on the jobs. OUt of interest, when you took all your post grad stuff off your CV, what did you say you'd been up to for the last few years? I've been thinking of applying for stuff and removing my PhD but I need to explain what I'v e been doing with my time.

Hey Catalin :)

For the 3 years I spent as a formal MPhil/PhD study, I put 'researcher' at university X (2006-2009) , loosly defined the subject area and some of my research tasks. In the lead up to my submission (2009-10) I worked as a 'research assistant/associate' and the lead up to my viva, I cared for my dad (recovered from a serious injury) and volunteered for victim support. During my MScs etc, I also volunteered as an Assistant Psychologist and worked on paid research assistant projects so in general there isn't big gaping hopes in my cv. I also took out my publications and any reference to MScs, my PhD and practitioner training.

Also, these jobs are poorly paid and I'm taking a massive pay cut (considering what I was paid from my last job), so in comparision with highly competitive graduate jobs, these organisations are probably not as fussed about gaps in cvs etc. It feels like I'm going backwards career wise (in some respects), but I desperately need relevant experience so willing to take a substantial pay cut for at least six months to build up some client-based skills. I'm having to swallow my pride here though and believe these jobs are very temporary rather than long term. I can't really afford to be fussy either- I seriously need some money and I need some relevant experience, so I need to suck it up and get on with really! :) I'm just pleased I now have some money coming in which willl help clear my overdraft and pay for my uni fees.


Hi Pineapple.

I haven't been around here much since my corrections were approved but I have been thinking about you. Keep marching on with those corrections, they are longwinded, irritating and boring and you just want them OVER (if you are anything like me) but I did it and so can you. I graduate on 15th Dec, which seems to have come round so quickly (I would rather not go, but that is another story) despite the fact it took years to get there. Just think, this is your last Christmas thinking about your thesis (my viva wa in January this year so I know what it is like to think about it all through the festive season)
By Easter you will have resubmitted, and it will be almost over!
Good luck