The Postgraduate Moans Thread

01-Mar-18, 12:33
edited about 55 minutes later
Avatar for starryeyed
posted about 2 years ago
I edited it out, because it could be identified.
05-Sep-18, 05:11
Avatar for Dantesbea
posted about 2 years ago
Quote From skyisnotthelimit:
Quote From Hugh:
Does anyone feel like their supervisions make them feel really stupid?

I'm 3rd year and every supervision I come out, I just feel really stupid. My academic credentials would suggest otherwise, and I know I can be brilliant. But gosh, my academic confidence is at rock bottom. Is it just me?

Ehmmm NO IT'S NOT. It's all of us. Two words: impostor syndrome. Learn to live with it.

That is a beautiful subject for a paper but yes (just heard the recording of my proposal defense for the first time) I should've failed. A mystery how I passed when everything was said to be "predictable"
05-Sep-18, 08:31
edited about 9 seconds later
by loracb
Avatar for loracb
posted about 2 years ago
I can relate to what many people have said here. After I finished my PhD I became a PhD Thesis Coach as I realised that in the main most postgraduates feel undermined and not-good-enough - this is not true! I had three different supervisors who all in their own way decided to make themselves feel better by putting me down. One even used to suggest why could I not be more like another postgraduate who later I met and the reverse had been said to her! So, in short if you are lacking motivation and drive, feeling uncomfortable where you are at, or that the PhD idea was a wrong one - don't! Connect with someone who will give you a sense of motivation and belief in yourself with a structured approach on how to complete your thesis and get onto the next stage in your life! I got there and you can too :) If anyone wants to private message me please do.
08-Sep-18, 17:12
edited about 6 seconds later
Avatar for GhostGirl
posted about 2 years ago
Impostor Syndrome. I completely sympathise with that and frequently dip in and out of it. I am currently going through a pre-new academic year lack of motivation and am trying to pull myself out of its claws. I've spent most of the day trying to write interesting seminar questions for one of the modules I will be teaching. This depleted into writing good seminar questions, and now I will settle for just writing seminar questions at all. Who would think that a person in possession of a Masters degree could lose the ability to produce simple instructions for undergraduates? :(
25-Jan-19, 11:59
edited about 6 seconds later
by Wallop
Avatar for Wallop
posted about 1 year ago
I am finding the whole PhD thing totally demoralising.

I am now on my second supervisor - the first one rarely bothered to turn-up for our agreed meetings and took no interest in what I was doing (he would tap away at his computer and not even look up). I am a mature student and do not live close to the University and would often drive for an hour to attend a supervisory meeting, pay for the parking for a couple of hours and find that my illustrious professor had vanished off the face of the earth.

It took a formal complaint and a wasted year to get the university to pay attention and it left me feeling like I am an awkward, trouble-maker.

Now, with supervisor No 2, the feedback I receive depends so much on his mood. One meeting may go well and I feel as though I am making progress (albeit always much slower than I would like) and the next session, his mood will be poor and he questions things that we have already established months ago.

I always take notes and then work-on the things we have discussed and he has asked for. But by the next session, he seems to have forgotten and has a completely opposing view from the first time. It has taken all the enjoyment out of it.

It feels as though I am expected to be a robot and only do exactly as I am told - there is no room for any creativity or for me to explore my own ideas.
I am sticking to the plan we agreed, but as one goes along, interesting new ideas emerge and I would like to be able to talk to him about them (even if it is only for a few minutes). It doesn't mean I want to wander off on a totally new path.

It leaves me feeling completely useless, an incompetent imbecile, who is unable to listen or remember. I feel as though I am about to be asked to leave at any moment.
27-Feb-19, 12:48
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for GhostGirl
posted about 1 year ago
Hi Wallop

Sorry this reply is a month late, I've not been on the forum for ages. Your current supervisor sounds like the one a colleague of mine had. In every meeting she was given conflicting advice to the one before, and because she was so nice and didn't want to kick off, she dutifully did as she was told, only to have her work trashed the next time around.

It was only through finding a secondary supervisor in a different faculty (cross-discipline) that she was able to get herself on track and get through the PhD successfully. You haven't mentioned a secondary supervisor but I am assuming you have one? If not, now is the time to ask or, if you are feeling assertive enough, go out and find one yourself.

For what it's worth, I am missing a secondary supervisor at present, as mine left a few months ago and no-one has yet replaced her. I have been advised by a colleague that if the school doesn't offer someone soon, I am within my rights to seek out someone of my own volition. This seems to be sound advice as although I am lucky enough to have a great primary supervisor, I am one long-term sickness/resignation letter away from being completely bereft of support. The other implication was that with only one person providing feedback, you are receiving a limited perspective on your work. You sound very isolated and almost trapped with this current supervisor. Any extra support will help to liberate you from this feeling and will also give you more grounded feedback.

Is there anyone outside your university that could provide additional moral support and guidance? I reached out to a few academics on ResearchGate recently, just because they had done similar research and I wanted to make connections with them. I have since met with one in person and she was lovely, offering me an informal means of supervision should I need it.

Hope this helps - let us know how you get on.
03-Jul-19, 09:38
by ajileye
Avatar for ajileye
posted about 1 year ago
hi, plz I need your advice, I am done with course work but am unhappy and not interested in doing the masters again, my interest is on business,my parents are my sponsors but along the line of the study I find out am Less interested in the study due to the amount to be paid and my choice is to go for business and work,pls advice me...


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