Going insane...but I don't want to quit!

posted
25-Jun-12, 13:25
Avatar for ERADcrazy
posted about 8 years ago
Hi all,

I feel like I am going insane! My PhD is turning into a disaster...I am in my third year and I lack any kind of productive data. This has been the case for quite a long time, but I've hung in there distracting myself and just kept pushing. But I don't know do I have the energy to keep this up for another or year or more likely two as I don't see it possible to graduate any sooner.
I am so unmotivated and depressed, the whole thing is such a mess and I don't know what to do anymore :-(
posted
25-Jun-12, 22:51
Avatar for JStanley
posted about 8 years ago
Hi ERADcrazy, It would seem a pity to me if you packed it in having come this far. You have 3 years done and you indicate that it may take 1-2 more years which is less time than what you've already done so I'd be inclined to urge you to go for it.
I'm not sure if you're in the humanities and social sciences or if you're in the sciences but I know that I initially obtained data that wasn't particularly useful and after 6 months of that scrapped it and started a new approach to acquiring data so that is perhaps one option for you. On the other hand I'd recommend talking through it with the supervisor and seeing what you can get from/make out of the data you currently have. This approach might require you altering your research question or topic a little bit to 'fit' the data but if it gets you there in the end then it'd be worth it maybe.
I don't know if you've been feeling down for a while but I will say we all go through the doldrums at some point. One day you can feel like you're at the cutting edge and the next day you are wondering what you're doing! That's quite natural I think for the PhD process.
Hope some of this helps. Maybe someone else will have more helpful views on what your options may be.(up)
posted
25-Jun-12, 22:51
Avatar for JStanley
posted about 8 years ago
======= Date Modified 25 Jun 2012 22:52:13 =======
Edit: double post. I keep double posting dammit!
posted
26-Jun-12, 11:49
Avatar for flagrandom
posted about 8 years ago
With a PhD, it doesn't really matter if your data 'works' or not - what's important is that in your thesis, you are able to discuss exactly what you did (review), what you learnt (results) and what you would do different next time (discussion). It's a learning process, we're not expected to know everything and be perfect. Research is all about exploration.
posted
26-Jun-12, 12:30
edited about 8 seconds later
Avatar for screamingaddabs
posted about 8 years ago
First thing - Speak to your supervisor. If you were to quit could you at least get an MRes? This is still a qualification that is useful so three years aren't wasted. Also, you could get the results you need within a year. I don't know the details but if your optimistic outlook is one year more then bear in mind that that is only 6 months longer than most PhDs take, though many in fact take just as long. If you have the funding then you may as well keep at it.

Finally, and I think I may say this on practically every thread that is on this site about quitting - Do not quit unless you have something else lined up. Jobs are easier to get if you are already employed/in education.

Good luck.
posted
26-Jun-12, 17:22
edited about 9 seconds later
Avatar for HazyJane
posted about 8 years ago
Quote From screamingaddabs:

First thing - Speak to your supervisor.


Yes, do. S/he may be able to point out alternative approaches that you haven't tried. At the very least, s/he needs to be aware that things aren't going to schedule.

I don't know what field you're in, but for data-collection/experiement-based PhDs it's rare to finish the entire thing in 3 years. Many students don't really get all their data together until the last year. I know that might not give you much comfort but at least you can know that you're not alone in experiencing this.
posted
07-Jul-12, 09:03
by tt_dan
Avatar for tt_dan
posted about 8 years ago
Quote From flagrandom:

With a PhD, it doesn't really matter if your data 'works' or not - what's important is that in your thesis, you are able to discuss exactly what you did (review), what you learnt (results) and what you would do different next time (discussion). It's a learning process, we're not expected to know everything and be perfect. Research is all about exploration.


But if we developed a Theory/Technique/Method//etc and the data don't work out with the former mentioned, would that be considered a failure for the PhD?
posted
07-Jul-12, 09:03
by tt_dan
Avatar for tt_dan
posted about 8 years ago
======= Date Modified 07 Jul 2012 09:08:18 =======
======= Date Modified 07 Jul 2012 09:06:55 =======
*Double post; sorry.

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