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Keenbean
Friday, 30 January 2009 at 10:33pm
Monday, 15 July 2013 at 9:45pm
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page 1 of 88 recent posts

Thread: A positive update

posted
06-Oct-11, 17:19
edited about 16 seconds later
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posted about 9 years ago
Hey guys,

Hope all is well. I haven't been on here much for a week or two what with moving location and starting the new job etc. Just after my viva etc I was feeling pretty rubbish, so thought I'd post now things are getting better and give others some hope!

The new team (new uni) seem really nice and I love the work that I'm going to be doing. There's a lot to learn but that's mainly because I'm in a new team and studying a different clinical population to my PhD. Apart from that the stuff I'm doing is kind of similar to PhD stuff in lots of ways- the same skills, just applied in a different setting and without the same sort of pressure that lots of us feel/have felt towards the end of the PhD.

So I just wanted to reassure others that there is life after the PhD and that for those who have struggled towards the end, there does come a point where the pressure finally lifts and things start to seem loads more positive again, even if it's not right after your viva. I did have to go on medication in the end to sort out my post-PhD anxiety/panic atacks but it meant I could start my new job on time and to the best of my ability, so I'm not too bothered. So keep plodding, and if things are a struggle rest assured that it will lift eventually.

Best, KB

Thread: Another article request +suicidal thoughts :(

posted
24-Sep-11, 23:22
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 9 years ago
Hey Rhea, sorry I cannot help with your article request, but wanted to offer you some support with respect to the rest of your post. I'm sorry you feel so rubbish right now- is it to do with your studies or is it other stuff? Life throws all sorts at us and it can be seriously tough sometimes to stick with it and see things through. Are you getting any help? If not, you need to go seek medical help asap. Your GP should be able to offer you some help, or your university should have a counselling service. I used my uni counselling service for 7 years (for support with bipolar & PTSD) and they literally saved my life. It's not easy to start talking to a counsellor/psychologist but they will not judge you or be shocked by what you say. It might be a relief to just tell someone what's going on with you. I've been there with the depression and nearly didn't come out of the other side, but things do get better, sometimes as quickly as they got bad, especially when you don't expect it. You deserve to feel better- nobody deserves to feel so awful- so please look after yourself. Believe me, you can get through this. Best, KB

Thread: Coming out as a PhD?

posted
24-Sep-11, 23:09
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 9 years ago
Hey dontforget! Sounds like you have a dilemma on your hands. I can only comment from an observer perspective really. If it would be a relief to come out and it's causing stress for you keeping it under wraps then go for it. One of my good mates came out as gay when I was in my first year PhD and he was in second year and it honestly made no difference to how any of us thought of him- he was a great guy before he came out and he was a great guy afterwards! We still did all the same things as we always had done, really nothing changed. Of course, he could have had some negative reactions that I don't know about, but I would like to think that most people are open-minded enough to deal with it, and if they're not then that's their loss. Your true friends will stick with you whatever happens in your life, so I wouldn't worry about that. Good luck with whatever you decide :) KB

Thread: STRESS!

posted
23-Sep-11, 10:31
edited about 29 seconds later
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posted about 9 years ago
Congrats Kikuka! Hope you have an amazing holiday after all the stress! Best, KB

Thread: Family issues - I just don't know what to do any more.

posted
21-Sep-11, 21:44
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 9 years ago
======= Date Modified 21 Sep 2011 21:49:42 =======
Hey Natassia. I tend to agree- this doesn't really sound like bipolar to me at all, much more like a response to some sort of substance (or coming off it). Although I have to say, the thought of anyone kicking a dog (or a person) would really infuriate me, and I think that is quite worrying. I can't help being reminded of some of the teenagers on 'The World's Strictest Parents'. I don't know if you've ever seen it, but basically it features a lot of very angry and confused youngsters, most of whom have a lack of direction, are on drink/drugs, and have serious issues with anger management etc. I don't know if that describes your bro, but that's what your post reminds me of. Does your brother talk to anyone or does he bottle things up? Is he close to your parents? Do his friends do drugs? As horrible as it must be for you, I'm guessing he's probably feeling really rubbish as well if he's behaving like that...I doubt he's being that difficult with no reason at all. But some people are difficult to help until they realise that they need help. Best, KB

Edit: Ignore his comments about your meds, sounds like he's just trying to wind you up on that one. When I first suffered with depression my brother called me all sorts of things ('mental', 'nutcase' etc) basically because he just had no clue what I was going through and didn't understand my behaviour. I hasten to add, now that we're older and wiser he's the best and most supportive big bro I could ask for.

Thread: How important is home ownership to you?

posted
21-Sep-11, 21:32
edited a moment later
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 9 years ago
Hey Chatzby- are you conducting a research study into this or just interested?

Personally- I am aiming to be a home owner, but it certainly isn't going to happen in the next few years. Most people on here are researchers, and many of us are on a PhD stipend, or on short-term research contracts, which isn't enough to secure a mortgage. The only people I know doing a full-time PhD at around my age (< 30) who have a mortgage are those with partners with good jobs and a permanent contract (of course there must be others, but I'm talking from personal experience).

I'm just starting a post-doctoral position which initially comes with a one-year contract, although the team will be applying for funding to get it extended (but this is nowhere near guaranteed). My fiance is just applying for teacher training and so we will have only a single income for that year. Then at some point I will be taking a break to start a family (all being well). So whilst I would love to get on the property ladder, it isn't going to happen until we both have a steady income, and that may well take years. I realise that there are a lot of organisations now offering a mortgage with just a 5% deposit, which will help, but even though we could save that up relatively quickly, getting approved for a mortgage is out of reach for us at the moment.

Best, KB

Thread: Phd job prospects

posted
21-Sep-11, 21:19
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 9 years ago
Hi there! I can only comment from my experiences- I have just completed my PhD in clinical psychology and am about to start a post-doc job at a different university in about 10 days- afraid I don't know much about your subject! But anyway:

1) I don't think there are enough jobs in academia for everyone who does a PhD- I have heard a rough figure of about 30% who make it to post-doc level as a researcher. However, some people don't do a PhD to go into academia anyway. Some do it to get into other careers (many people I know have done a PhD in clinical psychology to get onto the practitioner doctorate in clinical psychology, and have succeeded in this). Others do it after retirement for personal reasons etc.

2) Yes- I do know of quite a few people who have gone on to get post-docs, but also of people who have carried on in research but not managed to secure a job at post-doctoral level (e.g. working as a research assistant). I also know of some who don't continue in research at all as they never manage to secure a research position. There are others who get a first post-doc and then never get another- so as you can see, there are a hundred shades of grey! One thing is for sure- to succeed in the long term you need to be very good at what you do and also need some good luck and to know the right people.

3) I designed and won funding for my own PhD project, so obviously had the freedom to pursue whatever I wanted to, but many people apply for specific projects and have to carry out whatever was on the original proposal. Of course, if successful, researchers write their own grants for projects they want to carry out so get some freedom in this way, but this comes with experience.

4) Some people treat their PhDs as a 9-5 job and finish on time, but many over-run into a 4th year, often for reasons beyond their control (such as participant recruitment, supervisors being very slow to turn work around etc). Personally, I worked a minimum of these hours every day, often more, and usually one or both days at the weekend in my first 2 years, a bit less in the third year (when I met my boyf and got engaged!). I went from start-viva in 2 years and 10 months, but have no children etc to look after, and had a sup who was exceedingly quick to turn drafts around. Others manage by doing far fewer hours- it really depends on your topic.

5) I treated my PhD as a job and therefore stuck to a minimum of office hours, but people have very different routines, and in my team as long as the work gets done, nobody is that bothered whether you do office hours or not, work in the office or at home, etc etc, as a PhD student. Obviously that's different when you work on a post-doc etc.

Overall my PhD experience was a great one (although with difficult and stressful periods), and I don't regret it as yet. However, it isn't the most stable career path to start out on, so it's hard work to secure a career in research.

Hope that helps a bit- someone more in your subject area might have more to add!
Best, KB

Thread: Family issues - I just don't know what to do any more.

posted
21-Sep-11, 17:08
edited a moment later
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 9 years ago
======= Date Modified 21 Sep 2011 17:10:23 =======
Hey Natassia! This sounds like an awful situation to be in, for the whole family. To have to listen to someone saying those things must truly be horrible, especially since you don't understand what's going on with him. It's difficult to say what is going on with him- it could be some sort of mental health problem but although bipolar causes major mood swings, it isn't about people being horrible and angry. My boyf used to think that having bipolar meant being in a 'bad mood', but of course it's nothing like that, it's all about severe depression and mania, and very few people with bipolar are violent (it's a pretty negative stereotype of people with mental illness, but not true of many). When you refer to mood swings, do you mean depression-type moods, or more typical (but extreme) 'bad/angry moods'? It is also strange that his moods can change so quickly as well- again this isn't really indicative of bipolar, although there is a subtype of bipolar (rapid cycling) that is more to do with very frequent mood swings, but again it's depression/mania, and I'm not sure that's what you're describing. You know yourself what depression is like anyway, so perhaps you can judge whether it could be something similar. Of course, none of us are qualified to properly judge that anyway. Is there any chance drink/drugs could be involved? Is he having any other problems in his personal life that could be responsible? Either way, it sounds like he needs some help, for his own sake and yours, although what form this would take, I'm not sure without knowing more about it. Sounds like you are best limiting your contact with him since it is upsetting you so much. Perhaps he would benefit from not being isolated and having someone to talk to, but if you're not close anyway then that's probably not going to be you. Best, KB

Thread: Paper Publication Strategy...

posted
20-Sep-11, 16:45
edited about 13 seconds later
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 9 years ago
Quote From sneaks:

I agree with KB in some respects, but if you have the time, why not aim high? In my field the highest journals turn around very fast, its the lower impact journals that take months, so its always worth rattling off articles to top flight U.S. journals, because the feedback I've had from reviews from these has been really helpful in shaping my PhD chapters.



That is a good point- with the journals that I have submitted to, the top ones (usually US journals) are generally a lot quicker not just to sort reviews out, but to get the proofs to you and get it out in print as well. I would definitely not submit anything else to one of the journals I have published in because the whole process was completely chaotic. It was probably the lowest ranked one of my publications in terms of journal, although still well-known with a reasonable reputation. If you have time on your side, then do aim high. As I said, unless you're under pressure to get something published very quickly, you have nothing to lose.

Best, KB

Thread: Paper Publication Strategy...

posted
20-Sep-11, 16:24
edited about 10 seconds later
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 9 years ago
======= Date Modified 20 Sep 2011 16:27:18 =======
I always believe in aiming high (but not ridiculously so!). There's nothing to lose, unless you're in a big hurry. For my first publication I aimed very high and was amazed when it was accepted (after a revise and resubmit) and for the following three I went for respectable, but not outstanding journals, since the articles were review/theoretical papers that I didn't think would have as big an impact as my empirical papers. I did have a list of 2-3 journals in rank order for these articles but luckily all were accepted in my first choice journal. With my last three papers I've aimed high with the view that they wouldn't be published until I had completed my PhD anyway, so I'm not in a big hurry. One has since been accepted and the other two are under review still. If they're rejected, I'll just send them somewhere else. I think it depends on your aim really. If you are doing a PhD by publication then obviously it's a bit more urgent and perhaps more advisable to play safe. If you want a few things peer-reviewed by the time you do your viva to prove that it's publishable and pre-empt any potential viva questions then I suppose you might still want to play a bit safe. It also depends on how much impact you think your work will have. I can fairly easily list my papers in terms of which is likely to have the most/least impact, and I choose journals based on this as well. Good luck with it, KB

Edit: I think it's definitely best to try to have some accepted for publication by the end of your PhD, if you're aiming for a career in academia. For that reason I would probably play safe with at least a couple to start with.

Thread: what to do?

posted
19-Sep-11, 22:27
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 9 years ago
Good on you Ady! Hope his reply is favourable, and good luck for your submission! Best, KB

Thread: Update: Corrections accepted

posted
19-Sep-11, 22:25
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 9 years ago
Congrats Mak! Waiting for corrections to be approved is worse than waiting for the viva I think lol! Well done- time to put your feet up :) KB

Thread: what to do?

posted
19-Sep-11, 17:20
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 9 years ago
Hey Ady- I would just tell him you're submitting it this month and that is that (or find a suitable/possible fictionary reason for why you can't wait until next month). You could keep on fiddling with it for another 6 months, but you really have to call it a day at some point and let it go, and I can totally imagine that you have psyched yourself up for getting it in this month and would be gutted if it was put back. You have to protect your own sanity, and so long as you're happy with the quality of your thesis then just hand it in! Good luck with it, KB

Thread: True picture of life (Hilarious): Demotivators. . .

posted
18-Sep-11, 23:35
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 9 years ago
Hey Mak- that made me laugh! I have had loads of those 'motivational' posters up in my office for the 3 years of my PhD (the positive versions, not the versions shown at the web address you gave!). Better than staring at blank walls in those moments of distraction and despair! Best, KB

Thread: Money

posted
18-Sep-11, 10:26
edited a moment later
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 9 years ago
Hey Ender! If it's a student load with very little interest then to be honest I would save your money in case you don't get a job straight after your PhD and need some savings to rely on (unless you already have savings you could use for this purpose!). It takes most people a while to get a job after the PhD so some savings would definitely prove useful! Best, KB
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