I'm having one of those days where the fears are feeling really real.
Today I am worried that my thesis may not be good enough for the examiners and I may get major revisions.
Other times I worry that my reference management software will stop working the day before I'm due to submit.
What are your worst fears about your PhD?
My worst fear at the moment, Hugh, is that the examiners will conclude that my work is 'not enough for a PhD' and will recommend MPhil instead. I've been questioned on this several times (most recently yesterday) so it is a very real fear! I think it stems from the fact that I'm doing qualitative research in a very quants-heavy department, and my numbers look tiny compared to the numbers people are used to seeing.
Its comforting to know that probably every PhD student out there at the moment has similar fears. How long do you have left Hugh? It would be great to hear some "happy endings" post-PhD life.
My supervisor (who is amazing for the most part) asked me what I was going to do once the PhD came to an end...I was trying to say *cough cough* work with you as a post doc *cough cough* but he reiterated that there was nothing here for me...oh dear!
Like many others have mentioned here, being told that my thesis is not of PhD standard in viva, or them opening with 'we have serious concerns about your thesis' in viva.
I recently have had some funny viva dreams which I shall disclose here for giggles. I had one where it was over really quickly and I passed with minor corrections. Then, I woke up (in my dream) disappointed that I had not passed my viva. Then I had the 'real' dream viva where I had 11 examiners and they were all getting drunk on wine and passed me because they were really drunk. Then on my way out of my department the building began to collapse. I then woke up thinking 'I have just been through my viva twice, I can't be bothered doing it again!' haha
My fears about the PhD only came when I found the university's aim of having phd students are not for research reputation, but for money. My only academic part of my phd is enjoyable, but the greedy university and supervisor does let me down. money is the top agenda for them-terrible.
Another fear I have is that my supervisors' feedback is out of line with the examiners' opinions, and that what my supervisors think is a finished thesis is judged to be anything but! My supervisors are relentlessly positive and enthusiastic, which is lovely, but I keep thinking all it takes is a nitpicky examiner and I'll come unstuck!
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