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Can a different phd topic give you renewed enthusiasm

Hi I posted recently regarding whether to continue with phd or leave. Just into my second year and long long story but a recent conversation with doctoral college has given me 3 options
1. Come up with a new research topic
2. Mphil
3. Leave

I haven’t fully enjoyed my 1st year tbh for various reasons and wondered about just leaving. I had made the decision to leave until point 1 above was put to me by doctoral college. My question is- If it is your own phd proposal as opposed to one which is advertised would you have more enthusiasm and passion or is it better to just cut my losses and go? I don’t want to go into academia. Any advice would be greatly welcome. Thank you

What do you wish you had known or read before starting? Plus books!

Hi Im just int my second year the things I wish i had known include-
1. I wish I had read more (Read read read as this is a necessary foundation. but u hve done that so good going..
2. People always said to ‘write, write’ and I didn’t know what to write!! Now I have realised to summarise articles as you've read them- make sure to put the reference and organise these on your computer into files depending on your subjects.
3. Contract with your supervisors re: expectations, how the phd will progress etc- your expectations as well as theirs.
4. I think its also a good idea to discuss the possibility of recording supervisions so as to avoid any misunderstandings. I know not everyone might be keen on this!
5. Make friends with other Phd ers you may need the support.
6. Set boundaries on the times to work etc
7. Look after yourself take breaks, relax etc
8. Prioritise your tasks and break them into achievable, smaller tasks so u don’t become overwhelmed.
9. Dont take your supervisors criticisms, if they make any, to heart.
10. Dont be too timid, speak up snd stand up for yourself- respectfully.

Hope this helps and the best of luck.

Will i stay or will i go??

Thank you.

Unsure if i should continue

Hi, sorry to hear how you are feeling. I can totally relate to many issues of your post. I have just started the second year of my phd and i too am thinking of stopping. I don’t want to go into academic life either and wanted to do the phd asa personal challenge. My phd is inter disciplinary which feels sometimes like im doing 2 phds and tbh I think i was a bit duped from the beginning regarding that.

I think the previous comment is correct in that there does seem to be a particular style to academic writing which im told comes with practice and reading lots of peer reviewed articles also helps.

Motivation is a big issue - so ive read and experienced.

Its a difficult decision to make , i still haven’t decided. But give yourself time and space to think before deciding. But whatever decision you make will be the right one. Good luck and best wishes.

Hurt by supervisors comments, is this normal?

Firstly, well done you getting to this point, that is an achievement in itself. I think some supervisors maybe are not good at self awareness and realising that it is ok to give constructive criticism but how it is done is another matter! I was told by my supervisor when I was less than 3 months into my 1st year and my initial confirmation viva report came back to me repeatedly (way to knock your confidence, right!!) that when you are wanting to get published, the feedback is brutal and do not take it personally - maybe this is why supervisors do this, or there maybe many other reasons, who knows?

You aren’t going to change them, you can only control your thoughts/reaction to what they say. You know how far you’ve come and how good you are, don’t lose sight of that. Try to think that they are doing this to get the best from you and make your thesis as good as it can be.

Im not saying it’s easy, it’s definitely not.

Good luck.

Will i stay or will i go??

Thank you for replying, I appreciate you taking the time and your question is spot on. I do like the topic, I loved doing the interviews for my research and when I can get in the zone I enjoy it. I find the writing difficult, it doesn't come easy- a born author I’m not, lol. Also, if I’m honest its as much the thought of the sheer magnitude of the writing. I think I have realised in the last day or two that I don't have a strong self belief, I am worried I can’t do it! Imposter syndrome? Further, My dad passed away at the end of July and while I’m doing ok and have a lovely supportive husband and kids , I am also thinking is this why my head is a bit fried and that this will impact on my ability to progress the phd. I took x2. months off after he died and the work is actually a distraction, if that makes sense? OMG I sound like I need a psychiatrist!
Thank you rewt and I hope all is going good with you.

How do I know if I should leave my PhD?

I can also totally relate - i have just joined this forum and have just posted asking the question should i stay or leave my
Phd. I have done alot of research in the last few days about how people are experiencing their phd to help me decide a way forward and i have to say its awful reading. Is this what a phd is? To make people stressed out and impact on their wellbeing, to leave them feeling demoralised, unsupported and unable to recognise themselves and have their lives turned upside down? Is it any wonder the drop out rate is so big! Surely there is something fundamentally wrong here with the phd process. I have been a social worker for 27 years, and that is not a easy profession - I am a strong, confident, hard working individual and i have to say going into the second year of my phd i do not recognise myself and it ain’t good!! From what i am reading the phd process is destroying people- surely there has to be a better way or is it just accepted that this is what it is like and you have to make the decision as to whether you want to continue or leave?

Will i stay or will i go??

Basically I am trying to decide whether to leave my phd or continue.
- started the second year of three year funded inter disciplinary phd (main is arts and humanities and computer science (predominantly research into support for social workers to manage stress etc)
- I was a social worker for many many years and decided to leave sw- not to do the phd- that came a year later.
Reason for wanting to do the phd-
- very interested in the topi
-To ‘give back’ to sw and hopefully help sw by providing an effective intervention.
- A personal challenge
- A personal achievement
- To have a focus for 3 years
- Post phd- who knows! - i had thought about lecturing!
Reason for wanting to give up-
-It has taken over my life
-Is impacting on my emotional wellbeing
-I experience supervision as counter productive- Condescending, unrealistic expectations of time limits, belittling, a one way process where supervisors dominate. One supervisor has a completely different personality one to one but when other (main supervisor) is there is completely different- doesn’t listen, condescending. They seem so busy and not really tuned in, always start meeting with ‘i have to go by ...’; I get contradictory input.
-The interdisciplinary aspect is huge - I feel like im doing 2 phds!

Please note - Im not a moaner, or feel sorry for myself- i am a grown woman with 3 grown children, i am usually a confident, emotionally contained person, able to manage huge amounts of work, prioritise tasks, work under pressure, i am a grafter etc - but all this seemed to be eroding.

So I had enough and had made the decision to leave - it just wasn’t worth it.

I spoke with my main supervisor, (even though i had said prior to making this decision and was basically ignored) and advised of my decision to leave and reasons. It has been suggested to me to drop the technology aspect of the phd in favour of exploring non technical support interventions - which in theory should reduce the workload - and have been given time to think about this and to decide whether to continue or leave.

I am finding it difficult to make this decision as I am fearful that what i have been experiencing will just continue - the impact on wellbeing, the condescension, taking over my life, unrealistic demands etc.

Should I give it another go or just bite the bullet and go? Any advice would be gratefully accepted, thank you.