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how did you spend your days in the first year of the phd?

Quote From xeno:
I honestly don't think it's a matter of hours worked if that's what's concerning you mokey. I've known people to put in 10hrs/day and be clueless, whilst others have messed about, slacked off, done very little research and have been okay. I think that, to a large extent, academia is about casting illusions. If you can convince other people through charisma confidence, and the ability to blag, you have the elixir it takes to get by. I have known academics who were complete frauds, but had the ability to spin a fine-looking web <img src="images/smiley_happy.gif" width="25" height="25">

Thank you, thank you, thank you - I know this to be true, but i still don't know enough basic material to get by. I read and read yet none of it sinks in. Then I go to meetings and get exposed for not knowing anything. But then, at least that way, I know what I need to revise and know about, at the very least. So it's a starting point. So I wish I hadn't wasted those hours reading irrelevant thinsg when I wouldn't have been any better off and could have just done badly at a meeting, learned what I needed to learn but had a fun time beforehand, instead of needlessly stressing and giving up my life trying to fruitlessly pour through books. Sigh :( Is it possible?

I'm going to fail my PhD because I know nothing :(

I really feel completely destroyed and hopeless. Please don’t say something along the lines of “just revise more,” because I’ve already tried and it doesn’t stick. No matter how often I go over a concept I just forget about it and the finer details. What can I do? I think I’m a good scientist, in that everything I do has justification, reasoning behind it and follows a logical sequence to solve a problem, but I can’t discuss the finer details of it.

I won’t drop out because it’s not financially feasible. I’m going to stick it until October and if I fail again I won’t be able to face the world. I’ll be so humiliated and embarrassed. I really don’t know what to do! I do enjoy the project; it’s interesting and ahs great opportunities, but how on earth can one go about learning EVERYTHING there is to know? And then retain it? Especially stuff you’re already supposed to know? I was asked about an acid reacting with something to make a salt, and I don’t know! I’ve read it before, countless times, but I just don’t know. What’s wrong with me? What am I to do?

Thank you for taking the time to read. I think I'm a hopeless cause and will suffer the embarrassment in October.

I'm going to fail my PhD because I know nothing :(

Hello everyone! I love this forum, so thought I'd post something (sorry, limited words... running out!)

So, I'm doing this PhD in chemistry, and I'm 1.5 years in. My first year was pretty much a complete waste of time. No data that's usable, and to be honest, I didn't really know what I was doing at all.

Since October, I've been into it, but my results have been "negative." In January, I failed my transfer, and in October I'll have my interview again. If I fail this time that's the end of my PhD route.

I know why I failed - I didn't know anything, and I put in far too much broad stuff that it was impossible for me to know it all, especially at that stage. Now I have a solid plan and I'm confident that it's a tight and specific area I can revise for and all my work is well justified, but...

I had a meeting today with the company to discuss my results. I should be very happy because the results are great in that they're leading somewhere very nice. But I couldn't answer basic chemistry questions... talking A Level here. And I can't with a lot of stuff. Even though I know I've been over it. I'll never learn all of the subject material and I really won't pass again based on lack of knowledge and lack of being able to apply it and discuss ideas with it. They even commented on how I need to turn from passive to being more active in this kind of thing. But the problem is.. I know NOTHING! I'm really hopeless. I feel so sad right now there is absolutely no way I can revise all of the chemistry I need to know on top of what I need for this PhD. I'm really doomed as I have no solid grounding in even the most basic chemistry. What can I do now?