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Ludicrous Fees
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That is indeed a ridiculously high amount. It's ironic how people pretend education is this great equalizer (anyone can advance in the world and change their circumstances, etc.etc.), when really it's only for people who are already in the highest classes and can afford to pay 10,000 a year. It's a shame that the UK seems to be trying to take back the advances that were made during the past century to make British society more egalitarian.

Proofreading Scam
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It sounds like your proofreader is a) unprofessional and b) a bully. Just because you've worked with someone in the past, it doesn't mean you have to stick with them if they don't keep their end of the bargain and respect what was agreed between you two. I've used a number of proofreaders for my papers/articles in the past (some suggested by teachers, some found online), and I had to go through five of them to find one I was truly pleased with and felt was worth the money (and this through a random google search!). Especially with the steep fees for proofreading - at least for me, as my budget is quite tight - if they're not someone you can depend on or trust, just find someone else.

Thesis writing services
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I would advise you not to go hire someone to write the PhD for you, as that is highly unethical. Editing, of course, is fine - I used an editing service myself and was very pleased with the results (let me know if you need a rec). If you have to accept the job, you can try and get as much done as possible in your spare time and then hire an editor to make sure everything is OK. Paying someone to get rid of typos or errors or to make your language flow better is one thing - paying them to do your writing for you is another. Just my two cents.

Anyone else intimidated by very high achievers?
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I have to fight some severe depressions from time to time and constantly feel like I have achieved nothing so far and everyone around me is always better, smarter and faster than I am.
Interesting how the more you achieve and learn in life, the more you feel like that. The better you get at your job, the more you realize how many things you have yet to master. The more you read, the more you realize how little you've read, etc. So, weirdly enough, you should be pleased with yourself for feeling that you can still improve, because the only people who think they are the absolute best at something and know everything there is to know are the ones who, in fact, know so little that they haven't even discovered their ignorance yet ;)

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Hi Silver, I'm Sophia - also new to the forum. Nice to meet you!