write up rant...well more an ongoing grumble actually


Having started PhD in Oct 2007, having hellish time with principal supervisor, ethics and data collection which took me to the end of my funded period in Sept 2010, I secured a RA job at a different uni for 8 months and took a leave of absence as I needed the money. I was still working on PhD during this job and resumed Ft studies in May. I've mostly completed analysis and am writing up. My grumble is that I feel I've put in such a lot of effort, worked to try to pay my way but am now relying on family financial support to finish yet I'm still MONTHS away from submission. The money is running out (end of Jan) and there is no more and I don't feel I have time to pursue FT work (if I can find any??!!) and I'm essentially going to have to move out of my flat and back in with my parents. I've applied for all sorts of financial support, Pt jobs etc but supervisors seem completely unaware (even though I keep telling them) that completion is highly contingent on being able to live/eat etc. I know it's not the end of the world having to move but it all feels so stressful and unsettling. I'm trying to complete draft for Christmas but the realisation is that it's a first draft and the effort to repair and finish seems so far off. I've barely the energy or interest to write the draft. Feedback from supervisors feels like a slap and I've had enough of borrowing money, thinking about this project, having little life... This PhD so far has felt like a series of losses - bereavements, relationship breakdown, liklihood of moving out of my home that I'm almost convinced (given that there are fewer and fewer job opps) that it's been a waste of time. Although, what is the alternative....Sorry. Just feeling overwhelmed, under supported and stupid. Sigh:-(:-s


Hi Blackbryd - just wanted to offer you some virtual support although in my present frame of mind, I won't offer any advice, trust me it would not help!

You are so nearly there. As so many [wise] people say on the forum time and time again, break it all down into tiny chunks and tick them off as you go. What I ended up doing in the last few weeks was keeping a to-do list which I spilt into two halves - one side was for immediate day-to-day things and the other side of the page was for longer term items, such as run a tense check for example. I made sure that I carried these items over each day and in a way it did help. The end was for me the hardest so keep on trucking, you will get there (up)


Again, I don't think I can offer any advice but just to let you know you aren't the only one going through this. I started in January 2007 and have had a series of 'life events' which have impacted throughout. I've had periods of doing no work and periods of doing some work and have got to the stage now where I am aiming for a draft by Xmas, but like you it will be a first draft of the whole thesis and I know it will take ages to get it up to standard.
I was worried about money from about this time last year and although I had time to work on the Phd got very depressed. I managed to find a job in June this year and have also just started teaching with the OU but although my money worries are over I just don't seem to have any time to work now as I'm tired all the time. My PhD won't help me in my career and I just want to get rid of the millstone round my neck. But I suppose the advice, if it is advice, would be that we have both come too far to give up and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe short term living back with parents will help you push on and get the damned thing finished!


I read your post with great interest because this is a huge obstacle for so many PhD students! It's really challenging to fully focus on research and writing when you're not sure how you're going to pay for food, or keep the electricity on. (In my case, my spouse became and ill and disabled, and I hadn't planned on having to support both of us, as well as take care of all the medical bills.) Ady's time management strategy is a great suggestion. I also want to add that after you move back to your parent's house, you should make sure you have a quiet place to write. After living alone, it may be challenging to adjust to "room mates."

Good luck! It sounds like you've made a lot of progress in spite of the setbacks!


i think maybe you need to get yourself out of the limbo you are in, everything is up in the air and perhaps you need to get some of the things grounded so:

you need to get this finished,you are so close to the end that anything else would be a real let down, and you would forever be thinking 'if only' so this must be your goal.

to achieve this goal you must not starve or be on the street either would mean work would grind to a halt, so this is not an option.

you need some stability without constant worry about what to do next

moving back home would appear to be the best bet as it will give you food and somewhere to live - and will also remove the constant worry which is no doubt pervading everything else, so sooner rather than later maybe? It might not be ideal, but it would probably be better than your present situation. Once there you would have the stability you need to get on and get things finished.

You may be able to find some work leading up to Christmas there are usually some temporary things going for that period which would give you some money, and also maybe a bit of a break - if you don't get the draft in before Christmas, don't worry, you will come back to it refreshed, and in any case you can regard it as thinking time. If there is still nothing available you will just be able to get on and finish more quickly.

Supervisors can be a bit of a nightmare, mine has been for the last year when they were just totally unavailable for anything, and they were not that available before that. Eventually I made a few big waves and after a false start with someone else I have now been given a new one - who has rubbished everything the original supervisor said was good, so basically I'm starting again, just 3 years later, however I am going to be positive about this, although it isn't easy, and hope for the best. You can do this too, in a while they won't be your supervisor any more because you will have passed, and then you won't have to worry what they say!

don't regard your PhD as a waste of time, I expect you were enthusiastic when you first started, so try and remember those days it might help. :-)

Good luck



hello again,

I would like to say thank you to all who replied to my post. I really appreciate the advice and pointers. I've been mulling things over although I'm not happy with having to move out of my flat, it is the only alternative at the moment. I'm remember how fortunate I am in that I do have the option of moving back in my my parents. The getting used to people around thing will probably be harder for my parents to adjust to me again, than me to them. I've no doubt I will revert back to being a stroppy teenager until this PhD albatross is completed. Poor them! But it is true that I've come this far and it would be a gigantic waste of time NOT to complete. That said, I can't see past my deadlines for Christmas so I am going to stay in flat until January and then move out. One last Christmas in my flat :( but at least I can stay til January. I was reflecting that I have probably achieved quite a lot since summer, although wish I could see/truly believe that! Nevertheless, I must keep going.... thank you again for your posts. :-)


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