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Feeling beloning to nowhere as a mid-20s PhD?

Hi Janice,

I started my PhD at age 25 and moved 60 miles away from my family and friends. I remember thinking I was relatively young in comparision with other PhD students. I started my PhD with a 31/32 year old and I found it really difficult to find some common ground with her!

I was dealing with a break up of a six year relationship during the latter half of my first year of my PhD, which hit me very badly (think I've just about recovered from it!), so I wasn't up for socialising at all! However, I developed close friendships with researchers in my department (who were younger than me) and with my housemates (who were undergraduates and master students).

Given the nature of my PhD and my teaching responsibilities, I spent most of my time in my office working away. To help relax and unwind I used to go on long walks, attend aerobics classes and Pilates. I coped with feeling like a 'fish out of water' and loneliness by keeping busy and occupied.

Best of luck :)

Anyone else doing corrections

Managed to complete most of them, after some longs days of thesis work this week. Need to rewrite abstract, check references and proofread for typos.

How many papers are you expected to publish for a PhD programme?

Thanks Ian. Very useful. Coinciding with my minor corrections, I've squeezed out several publications which maybe suitable publications. Examiners were also pushing me to publish which I hope is a good sign! :) I'm hoping publishing these articles will improve my prospects!

Anyone else doing corrections

Hey, just wondered how everyone is getting on with their minor corrections? Anyone else finding this endless ploughing through corrections tiresome?! I'm having to double check every single reference in my 100k word thesis and it's just painfully dull! I'm on the last literature review chapter, so it's getting there, but this seems like a never ending inner-ward battle with myself at the moment in pushing through the final few corrections...... :(

Minor corrections awarded following resubmission

Thanks everyone :)

Still hasn't sunk in yet! Currently working through my corrections, but brought down to earth with a big bump considering latest round of job rejections :(

Although the panel at UCL thought my qualifications and work experiences were 'impressive', given the 'ground level' work with the research assistant position I applied for, they said I'm not the right kind of 'fit' for the role. However, they strongly encouraged me to apply for future research associate posts in the department, which I suppose is positive feedback. I've also had 5 interviews for researcher posts over the last 2-3 months, with no success :( Although reaching the shortlist for interview is perhaps a good sign!

Until then, I'm juggling my corrections with a minimum wage recovery worker job and some volunteer work. Also have a list of publications to submit to improve my prospects.

All a bit depressing really! Maybe it's time to start applying for more part time research associate positions and even approaching my networks for any opportunities.......

Is There Life After PhD? Jobs Market is Terrifying...

Agree with some of these posts, the job market seems a bit bleak for us PhD-ers (although may differ between fields).

I was offered a permanent part time psychology relevant job yesterday which I've verbally accepted as I'm retraining to be a health psychologist. It's a non-graduate job and poorly paid (well poorly paid in terms of previous experience and qualifications), but it's something I guess and is highly relevant for my chartered psychologist training. I'm going to split the remainder of my time publishing my PhD work to improve my researcher and postdoc prospects. I'll be on probation for 6 months for this new position, but hopefully in 6 months I'll have my PhD and some publications to start searching for more qualified and highly paid jobs. There maybe a little psychological protection/cognitive dissonance going on here, but a less high profile and arguably less academically demanding job will allow me some freedom to focus on my publications. During the wait for examiners verdict, I know I had some success with shortlisting etc for researcher/PostDoc jobs, so that's something I guess. I really don't want to end up going on unemployment benefits/job seekers after all this drama with my PhD, which would be utterly soul destroying for me!

I'm also thinking about using my networks to search for any 1 day a week positions to continue building up any research or teaching experience (even if it's unpaid). Also volunteering 1 day a week within other non academic organizations to continue building up relevant experience to improve future employment prospects and current training commitments.

Anyone else doing corrections

Quote From huhu:

Is there anyone else doing corrections too? Care to share on how do you keep yourselves motivated?

Hey, yes, I'm in the middle of my corrections along with some others on this forum (Ants etc).

I only had one viva, but after a R&R verdict and a second submission, I received a minor corrections verdict.

For me, this minor corrections verdict has given me a massive much needed confidence boost and I seem to be really motivated to fix these corrections. It feels as if a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders :)

My primary source of motivation is just to finish this thesis once and for all. The sooner I finish these corrections, the sooner I will have my life back and hopefully will lead to better job prospects. I would also like to graduate with my friends in July, so I'm trying to finish these corrections well within the 3 months allocated time to allow for my internal examiner to mark it. I'm hoping and praying my internal examiner will not keep me waiting for months to check these minor corrections given July graduation ceremony. So, the sooner I complete these corrections, the more time my internal examiner has to check these minor corrections. Last week, I went through periods of complete thesis boredom, so I'm trying to break the day up and tackle each correction at a time. Every correction completed is like one more step towards freedom from this thesis. Drowning out boredom with some music tunes which helped me through the dull days during my write up are also helping me stay motivated, along with lots of inspirational music videos! :)

I'm also a little worried about failing my corrections, but I'm trying to think more positively, ie that examiners want us to pass. It's technically possible to fail, but I think it's unlikely! The only thing I can do is make doubly sure that I've addressed each and every correction and clarify any ambiguous corrections.

Best of luck!

Minor corrections - but they can still fail me.

Hi Ants

How's it going? Thankyou for submitting this post. I'm sitting here wondering the same thing about failing after minor corrections, perhaps understandable given my journey. I'm waiting for my list of minor corrections, but this week I've started correcting small typos and missed references that I've spotted so far and keeping track of my changes via the tracked change word function. Only my internal examiner will approve these minor changes. Please God, don't put me through another disgustingly long wait! I would like to graduate this July!

I'm still feeling very tired following from waiting stress, but I'm also very keen to finish asap, so made a start at fixing some annoying typos! Hope all is well Ants :)

Minor corrections awarded following resubmission

Thank you :) for the lovely messages! Still doesn't feel real. My family and friends seem to be more happier than me! After the initial tears and serious shakes, I just felt relieved to receive a response from my examiners. Also fear I'm going to have to justify why this PhD has taken me so long to complete, but I'm happy to justify that by identifying long wait for viva, cancelled viva 2 weeks before viva, search for new examiner, few months wait for viva with new examiners, one year to make corrections and long wait for examiners verdict! :). All in all, lots of waiting!!

I'm waiting for the list of minor corrections, but I've made a start correcting some of the small typos and missed references that I've spotted.

Also squeezing out numerous articles for publication from my thesis. Lots of Pineapple (2013) articles! :)

However, saddened to receive some comments from others that I was awarded minor corrections because of the forthcoming Ref, to protect the department (and my well known supervisors) from a PhD fail and because of nice PhD examiners. :( Some even said that if Pineapple can obtain a PhD, then I'm sure I can obtain one :(

Anyway, I'm well aware that my examiners had the power to fail me at any point and even I can see my PhD findings are very new to my field! Going to ignore those rather negative comments and finish fixing these missed references etc that I've spotted so far. Deep down delighted to receive minor corrections :)

Anyone else intimidated by very high achievers?

At 32, I seem to receive some stick for my studies (BSc, MSc x2, PGCert, PhD, current professional psychology doctorate), particularly from some of my friends who dropped out of their undergraduate degrees. I've occasionally struggled with my postgraduate studies, but I've also undertaken several part time and full time jobs throughout so not strictly an 'eternal student' which some of them seem to imply. Despite the above, I always make time for my friends and family who remain an important part of my life.

I guess some people may consider me to be a 'high achiever' and may even feel intimidated. However, I'm keen to develop professionally and I'm interested in learning new skills and I don't think there's anything wrong in that. I'm motivated to establish some kind of security, career for myself and to eventually have enough capital to buy some properties for my family and would also love to have a family of my own one day. I've also suffered deep depression following from an end to my 6 year relationship during the first year of my PhD, so there has been some really sad times along the way.

In person, I'm the sort of person who tends to shy away from the limelight and centre of attention. I'll only discuss the above when asked and try to be as considerate and open minded as I can whilst interacting with people from different backgrounds. I'm well aware of my limitations as an individual and still have lots to learn, but I'm happy to encounter various hurdles and difficult times along the way, if only to prove to myself that I've accomplished something.

Minor corrections awarded following resubmission

Just wanted to say a big thank you for all of these lovely messages. I'm still faced with some smaller minor corrections to resolve, so not quite there yet, but I really appreciate the support. Receiving minor corrections is truly a dream come true, especially after my roller-coaster journey.

I'm in a state of complete shock and disbelief! Really doesn't feel real. I can't help but feel like their going to take this away from me and admit a mistake. :( I'm also looking at PostDoc jobs and feel rather hesitant about submitting applications!?

I'm also surprised by how tired and drained I feel. I couldn't keep my eyes open for much of yesterday- yet wide awake during most of the night!

Celebrating with friends in London this weekend and I can't wait. My family, friends and supervisors are delighted with this news :)

Feeling rather honoured that so many of you seem to have followed my journey! :) Thanks again for the continued support. xxx

Minor corrections awarded following resubmission

Hello everyone,

Heard from my examiners.........

Examiners awarded minor corrections following my resubmission :)

Still in complete disbelief! Can't stop shaking!!! :)

Big thank you to everyone supporting me on this forum. Couldn't have got through this without you x

Waiting for examiners verdict (post viva)

News at long last.

Awarded PhD subject to completing some minor corrections.

MASSIVE thank you for everyone supporting me along this journey.

Seriously can't believe it! xxx

Waiting for examiners verdict (post viva)

Quote From Mackem_Beefy:

I know I can't do this in person, but metaphorically speaking, masses of hugs to hopefully take the tears away!!! :-)

Ian (Mackem_Beefy)

Thanks Ian! Much appreciated.

I'm feeling better this evening after a long walk along the beach to relax! Good stuff :)

As said previously, thanks for the support x

Waiting for examiners verdict (post viva)

My compliant may have alerted someone to provide me with some updates or may have been a complete coincidence (given my mid August resubmission date).

I feel badly let down by my supervisory team and university, with virtually no support during this wait, very poor communication on relevant updates and almost no consideration to immense stress, anger and anxiety this has caused- not to mention adverse impact on my career (considering four researcher/post doc job interview rejections in 2mths). Unfairly raising my expectations to expect a result in October, which then changed to December (ie 'expect result any day now'), only to be left still waiting in mid January is tantalizingly cruel and unprofessional.I'm struggling to focus on anything else knowing this result is imminent, so in a little bit of a tearful mess at the moment.

On the bright side, I think I've shown strength of character, restraint, patience and steely determination in withstanding this stress and strain of the unknown, especially given lack of support from my university. I've managed to contain my stress and anxiety away from my family and most of my friends by not discussing my concerns with them which is something I guess! (Family will put unnecessary pressure on me, so tried to minimize more stress!). I've also learnt about impact on unexpected delays as well as to keep things really simple for my next professional psychology doctorate thesis (my PhD thesis is very ambitious and complex), so all in all, a big learning curve.

I can only hope there's good news at the end of this tunnel, hopefully in the shape of minor corrections.