Taking A Break

posted
15-Jan-19, 04:22
edited about 17 seconds later
by lacaca
Avatar for lacaca
posted about 1 month ago
Hi everyone.

I know that many have faced this dilemma during the course of their PhD so I'm just looking for some wisdom.

I am currently in the middle of the fourth year of my part-time PhD (humanities) and I have seriously hit a wall. I don't mean 'struggling to make progress' or 'things are a bit difficult at the moment,' I mean I've actually hit the wall, slid down and I'm just sitting there on the ground feeling sorry for myself. I haven't made any proper progress is months.

I don't know if part of the problem is the length of time I've been working on this and the fact that it has been a very drawn out process but I just seem to have lost all enthusiasm. I simply just don't care about it anymore in the way that I once did. I'm not planning to go into academia so the PhD was never something I've been counting on career-wise. It was always just interest.

My dilemma is that I feel like I've done so much work and spent so much money and time that I should just keep going to finish. It would be a bit of a waste to just throw it all away at this point. At the same time, that push to actually get to the end is going to take a lot of effort, effort that I'm just not sure I have. How do you determine if it's just a longer than usual slump vs. actually time to consdier taking a break/giving up on the pursuit?
posted
15-Jan-19, 11:07
Avatar for kenziebob
posted about 1 month ago
Can you take a reasonably short break? A month, for example?

What made you want to do the PhD in the first place? Is there something you can do to try and rediscover that motivation?
posted
16-Jan-19, 09:56
edited about 15 seconds later
by eng77
Avatar for eng77
posted about 1 month ago
Hello lacaca. I am sorry you feel that way. I think what you face now is absolutely normal. Doing a part time PhD and spending your free time and spending money for it is something most people are not capable of. First, you have to appreciate what you have started and what you have achieved so far. You made a brave choice which I am personally still hesitated to make.
There is usually a time frame in the PhD where almost everyone hits the wall. Not surprisingly it is the point where the PhD student whould move from the making progress phase to the results and conclusions phase. Add to this being lonely and having no colleagues, you have every reason to really hit the wall. So do not be hard to yourself.
Now what to do? Taking a break seems really reasonable. If I were you, I would say for example, I am not going to do anything in the PhD until March or April. There is no problem with this. But when decide to take a break, take it to the full. Do not feel guilty.
I would not recommend giving up at all. Not because you already started and spent time and money, but because you wanted a PhD in the first place. You want it whatever pragmatic or romantic reasons you have for wanting a PhD.
posted
16-Jan-19, 11:14
edited about 11 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 month ago
That's odd.
This exact same post word for word was put on this forum a few months ago under a different user name.
posted
16-Jan-19, 12:37
edited about 8 seconds later
by eng77
Avatar for eng77
posted about 1 month ago
@pm133, I have fallen into the same trap in another post by judging the poster that repeated his/her post. Now I look at it differently, if the same question is asked a few months later, the answer now is urgent.
In deed, he/she might have not found enough opinions or might not liked the responses he/she got. It is absolutely fine to reask your question again a few months or years later if you still need an answer. Real life is full of meaningless repetitions and I think this post is definitely more important than a lot of things we read and hear in a daily basis.
posted
16-Jan-19, 19:01
edited about 36 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 month ago
Quote From eng77:
It is absolutely fine to reask your question again a few months or years later if you still need an answer.


I didn't say it wasn't fine.
I am merely pointing out the fact that letter for letter this post is absolutely identical to that posted by a different user months ago.
That is odd. No doubt about it. You would expect a difference of some sort.
posted
17-Jan-19, 14:59
edited about 2 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 1 month ago
What is your motivation? What made you do this in the first place? If it was because it sounded interesting, make it interesting. If it was for job prospects, remember how awful your current job is. If it is to prove to yourself you can do it, then focus on how you don't want to fail. Motivation is the key to any PhD.

So I would say, take a break and if you have no motivation after a month or so. Make a clean break. Dragging it on will make you feel worse.

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