Signup date: 16 Apr 2009 at 2:08pm
Last login: 25 Apr 2012 at 10:40am
Post count: 142
What you are feeling right now is perfectly normal, everyone goes through the same feelings before starting a PhD and anything else that's new and unknown. You say that you don't know if a PhD is for you, but to be honest, no-one does until they try it. If I were you, I think I would at least try it first. You might start and completely love it, and all the negatives; being away from home, your gf etc, will not seem so bad. I think if you quit now (if it were me) then I'd always be thinking 'what if...?'
However, you might start and totally hate it, the missing home and your girlfriend may get worse, and so you'll then know that this is not the path for you. At the same time, there are many people who quit PhDs and then go on to start again some place new or on a different subject, so all is not lost.
But my advice for now would be to give it a go, at least give it a few weeks/ months. Home, your girlfriend, friends and family will all still be there in a few months time if you do decide it's not for you.
But we've all been there, felt the same feelings (still do to be honest, and I'm 8 months in!) and had the same worries.
Good luck with your decision, hope it goes well for you!
You can't just 'get on' with a PhD, as you put it, it's just impossible. It's going to be the major part of your life for the next 3-4 years, and it takes so much effort and hard work and perseverance. I really would think carefully before you just jump in and do it. You're the most important thing that you should be thinking about, not your supervisor. They can get another student easily. Ultimately, without thinking about what your family wants, what your supervisor wants and what your boyfriend wants, what do you want? To start it and see what it's like? Or to be brave, admit it's not for you (if it isn't) and decide what's next. Make a decision for you, no-one else.
You really don't sound in a good place right now. Normally I'd agree with the other responders, to start and give it a go, as you never know, you may actually quite like it. But you seem dead against it, completely. We all have doubts before starting a PhD, and these go on once you've got started, and probably never go away to some extent. But from your posts you seem so unhappy about it, and you've not mentioned anything positive about your new position. I think I'd be inclined to tell your supervisor that you're having doubts. They may let you postpone it, say untill january. But it seems to me like it doesn't need postponing; you just don't want to do it. A PhD is hard enough even for the most passionate people. There will still be plenty of opportunities to pursue another PhD if that is what you want to do. You're happiness is the most important thing.
In regards to your boyfriend; he could try being a bit more understanding, how mean to tell you he'll beak up with you if you keep being depressed. The one thing you need right now is support.
Good luck x
You should focus that anger into your work then! Use it to your advantage! After making such wonderful progress last week don't let one person's comments ruin everything for you, you've come too far. The crucial thing is your supervisor was also surprised at the comments. If everyone was thinking the same way as this one person, then you'd be right to be worried, but they're not. Just try and put all your energy into getting the work done, and sod everyone else. You know what you've got to do! x
I agree with clowning; an MRes would be far more beneficial as it is focussed solely on research. The taught part of an MSc is basically just an extension of ungrad, attending lectures/seminars and being examined on them, which isn't really useful for a PhD and doesn't prepare you for what lies ahead. So I'd say if you can, definitely do an MRes. Make sure that research is for you (and after a year doing an MRes you'll know this!). In addition, as you get to do a number of different research projects for an MRes in different labs, it enables you to try out different areas, rather than just homing in on one particular area straight away. One of the other major advantages of an mRes is that often Universities have funded MRes positions, encompassing tuition fees and living costs for the year, so if you managed to get one of these studentships, that's a major financial saving!
I did an MSc last year and am now 7 months into my PhD in medicine, and I wish I'd done an MRes instead as I think it would have better prepared me for the struggles!
Good luck in whatever you decide! x
Definately do so, it's amaxing! And if you're doing stats etc you can do it all on there too using graphpad Stat (or something with a similar name!) It's way more simpler than using SPSS! Plus the graphs look far better on GraphPad Prism, particularly when you're exporting them into word documents and so on. It's marvellous!!!
Maybe you should be more demanding then (easier said than done I know!). I know that Universities want PhD students to complete as near to three years as possible etc. etc., but sometimes I think supervisors themselves have different ideas and are quite happy for their students to just plod along at a nice easy pace. If you're not finished in 3 years then they've essentially got free researchers working for them until we do complete, which is advantageous to them, but not us. The only thing you can do is demand more of their time, you have a right to it, and hopefully this will get things a little more on track. The fact that you're realising now, you've (hopefully) got time to catch up and finish in as near to 3 years as possible.
When I did my Masters last year, we were told that if for any reason we didn't complete the course, the fees that you would pay are sort of pro-rated for the part of the course that you have already attended. So if you pay the first semesters fees, but drop out after a day then you would get it all back. If you dropped out say at the beginning of the 2nd semester, after paying the second installment of fees, you would only get that portion back, not the first portion of fees you paid originally (hope that makes sense?!).
Good luck in whatever you decide, it is a big decision, especially because of the amount of money involved!
No not at all, I paid for my Masters myself (well, parents did!), and am now completing my PhD with research council funding, and no-one's ever batted an eye-lid about it. It's extremely common for people to pay for the Masters themselves, whether that be with their own money or borrowed by way of career development loans etc. The fees for the Masters are nothing compared to the cost of doing a PhD anyway!
Best of luck!
That happens to me all the time! I regularly wake up in the night finding myself running through results, experiments etc and unable to then get back to sleep! I'm only 7 months in, so who knows what it will be like in more months/years (if, of course, I make it that far!!!)
Ah right, I was referring to distance learning Masters courses rather than PGCert courses, so yes, you're entirely right. Obviously it would depend on the institution you're applying for, but overall I would say that a Masters, which obviously has the research element as part of it, would be far more useful if you are wanting to do a PhD or get a job as a research assistant etc. I'm sure not sure how important admissions tutors would regard having a non-research postgrad qualification, as at interviews etc alot of the questions would focus around your existing research experience. You could always phone up potential unis that you may be considering for a PhD just to ask about how much they would value the PGCert, but if not, I think I'd go for a Masters.
One of the other major problems then is that you only have a guaranteed income for two years or whatever, so that's another thing probably counting against you in their eyes. Lending policies are just so much more stringent these days, that it's difficult enough to get any form of borrowing, let alone when you're classed as a 'student', on a tax free income, and one that's only guaranteed for a few years etc.
Jut going back to the Distance learning courses, most science Masters involve the first 6 months being lecture/tutorial and seminar based with traditional written examinations, then the latter half being spent in a lab doing your research project. So although the first half can be done online via distance learning yourself with the help of online lectures etc, you would have to attend the uni in order to complete your research project in their labs, or where-ever your project is based i.e. hospital lab etc.
Have you tried other mortgage brokers? I used to work for a high street bank and I know that they accepted stipends as income, for mortgages, loans, credit cards, the lot, so I can't see why you're coming up with such difficulty. Are your stipends due to finish soon or something like that?
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