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Feel like a failure

Hi all,

I’m a 1st year PhD student in animal cognition and I’m having doubts about whether it’s for me.

I started last September, so in the middle of the pandemic, and everything’s been going well so far. I have a l super supportive supervisor who’s seemed happy with my work for the past 6 months. I was finally able to come into the lab to work with our rats a few weeks ago and everything’s gone a bit badly since.

I keep screwing up. I screwed up a deadline and had to email in a panic and get an extension. I screwed up handling my rats...I dropped it (thankfully she seems to be fine) and I’m just generally really bad at handling them (I have dyspraxia so that could be part of it). I’ve also just had to take a day off due to being unwell and I can tell my normally very kind supervisor is frustrated with me.

I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression in the past and I’ve gone from loving my PhD to crying daily so fast. I feel like a total failure and am really doubting myself. I’m SO stressed and really starting to think I’ve made a huge mistake and that this isn’t for me.

Did anyone else feel this way?! Is it normal?! I’m just so miserable and worried I’m slipping back into a depressive episode because I can’t handle a little bit of failure.