Signup date: 16 Aug 2010 at 7:24am
Last login: 10 Oct 2010 at 4:33am
Post count: 16
Thank you, this is really helpful! My university does offer stand alone MPhil in this discipline, so that's potentially a good option for me as a middle ground between sticking it out to get the PhD and quitting. I'm going to investigate a bit further what the change would involve. Thanks for saying it should be regarded as a significant achievment, I think I'd feel a lot better about completing an MPhil than if I just withdrew without completing anything.
Much thanks :)
oh dear this is one of the more annoying aspects of doing a PhD. I know a person who likes to go on about how easy it is and how he could 'knock one over in six months'. but he hasn't tried it, surprise! he never felt the need to say this to me before I started my PhD. i suppose you could always respond with 'well you try it and get back to me on how you're going after 18 months'.
the other one I get is 'oh when are you going to learn to stop studying?'. i find that people don't really understand that this is not 'study' in the undergraduate sense. I tell them it's more like a job where I manage my own project, and that actually it's a lot more demanding than my previous jobs. people seem to want to give me advice all the time despite having no experience in academic work themselves. I have trained my family to understand that I am not 'free' all the time and that I don't appreciate them saying I am. generally i avoid discussing it with the people who don't get it and focus on the people who are supportive, of which there are luckily quite a few! :-)
A friend suggested to me that since I have been ambivalent about my PhD project for a while now, perhaps I should down grade it to MPhil and get out early. It's now 18 months since I started. I wondered how this might look to prospective employers (outside academia) - will it look like I couldn't go the distance and get the PhD? or would it look better than say if I were to withdraw after two years and not have a qualification to show for it? at my institution MPhil is up to 60 000 words and PhD is 80 - 100 000, which does kind of suggest one should write a bit more and get the PhD. but one has serious doubts about one's capacity to stick it out, and secretly wants to get out of academia and get a job.
what do you think?
I'm new to this, but I very much like the idea. I have four goals today:
1) spend 2-3 hours doing research assistance tasks - looking for cases online
2)take a guy for a walk for one hour (this is volunteer work - but I get a lot out of it too!)
3) spend 2 hours analysing transcripts and dropping quotes into the appropriate files for different thesis chapters.
4) go to bed by 10:30pm so I can get up earlier tomorrow.
Good luck :)
I'm sorry to hear this and can empathis with your story. I agree that it sounds like you would like someone to say 'it's ok to stop now'. I also feel this way at the moment, though I have family and friends urging me not to quit. Maybe the experience of a friend of mine will help: She got miserable about 18 months into the PhD so she suspended and got a job. She says try suspending first and see how you go. She was much happier, so she didn't go back to her PhD. She doesn't regret giving the PhD a try, because she learned a lot including that she doesn't want to work in academia. this is really useful information! in a job interview, she explained her reasons for not continuing (she wanted teamwork and to directly make a difference to people). this impressed the interviewers. and then she found a whole lot of people she already knew were suddenly willing to tell her they also had started a PhD and quit after 1 or 2 years. I think if it isn't what you want to do, quitting isn't a failure. protecting your mental and emotional health is just as important as protecting your physical health - it has a big impact on your capacity to work.
I hope this helps.
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