Motivational advice

09-Jan-19, 22:00
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for orchid11
posted about 1 week ago
Hi! I've just started my phd 3 months ago in a different field from my masters, moved to another country and feeling already low and overwhelmed perhaps by the culture differences. I've finished my project outline and has kind of a plan of what to do. But the problem is, I'm not sure how to approach it, because the techniques are totally new to me. I try to read up a lot but when I seen other people starting on their project although they started the same time as me, I feel like I'm stuck. There is this constant feeling that I'm not as smart as others although I should not feeling that way. I used to be really cheerful and happy but after starting this phd I feel like I'm not myself. I'm not sure if this is a common situation or do others feel the same way as me too?
15-Jan-19, 23:44
edited about 5 seconds later
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 2 days ago
Hello, I feel exactly the same way (minus culture difference). I find it totally overwhelming! I have heard that it's very common, the word imposter syndrome is used a lot. I think that perhaps for some people (including me) the first year is hardest. It takes a long time to settle in, cut yourself some slack. You will get there! May I ask how you're doing now?
17-Jan-19, 14:50
edited about 5 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 15 hours ago
I am in my second year and half my project is a completely different field. I found that you just got to be patient as you can't become an expert in a day. Recognize everytime you do something new and try and learn something everyday. Asking people for help usually work and can result in new friends as well.

Also you will be surprised how many PhD students think they are idiots. Impostor syndrome is well studied in PhD students and is a separate issue that can be overcome with more practice, just don't let it beat you down. Getting a hobby and keeping a clear separation between social life and research can also help.
17-Jan-19, 23:24
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 6 hours ago
One thing someone told me last week that's helping me a lot , is to remember that actually it's good you feel this way because it means you're challenging yourself. You're not stagnant , if it was easy then we wouldn't learn anything. It helps me to be more positive to think about that sometimes.


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