Help! Do I continue my PhD?

posted
19-Aug-19, 08:23
edited about 31 seconds later
Avatar for firebolt
posted about 3 months ago
Hi,

It's been 8 months since I started my PhD in a different country from my home.

My progress: 15 pages of literature review with stuff mostly re-phrased.

I can't even recall how I wasted my time. I had been severely homesick for first few months and hardly did any work. Today, I spoke to my supervisor about it and told him I was not meeting my expectations and underperforming.

I'm not sure I'm the right person for academic research. I love learning new things, but I get bored of reading the same thing and I absolutely can't write.

I don't know if I should quit before it's too late.
posted
20-Aug-19, 12:44
edited about 19 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 3 months ago
Your progress sounds typical and I wouldn't worry. You aren't meeting YOUR expectations but we all aim to high when we first start. A PhD is 3 years for a reason and I would consider how your skills have progressed so far. Also you didn't say what your supervisor said and I think you might have imposter syndrome

I think if you enjoy the project itself you will finish. As if you enjoy the work it will compensate for the bits you enjoy less.
posted
28-Aug-19, 15:10
edited a moment later
Avatar for firebolt
posted about 3 months ago
Hi Rewt,

Thanks for answering!

My supervisor said I'm doing okay but i find it hard to believe him as he is a very nice person. I have another supervisor, who doesn't seem as satisfied with me. And as for the work, I don't really enjoy it so much. Before I started, I thought it is an interesting project in which not much has been done. But now, I don't really have the motivation to do much. I'm scared all the time if I should be doing something else in which I'm more passionate. And can you elaborate on imposter syndrome please?
posted
29-Aug-19, 13:13
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 3 months ago
I have a very different opinion. I don't think you are suffering from imposter syndrome. People with imposter syndrome usually care a lot about their research, but worry too much about their perceived weakness and may overwork to try to compensate for said weakness. You have no motivation nor interest in your study. You feel bored and put little effort in your research. Usually motivation for Phd is highest in first year and drops steadily as people get setbacks in research. You are just in your first few months and it seems that you are already lacking motivation. Perhaps you may wish to consider if this Phd is truly for you.
posted
29-Aug-19, 17:09
edited about 49 seconds later
by PhDhere
Avatar for PhDhere
posted about 3 months ago
I don't know if you should quit your phD or not. I just want to say that passion means nothing. You become passionate about something when you succeed at it. No matter how good or "passionate" your are about a particular topic, sooner or later you will face hurdles that will make said passion disappear. If you really need a phD (for good reasons like being an academic or getting a good research position in industry or other) then you should suck it up, do the hard work and then move on after you finish your degree. You will have more options then to work on different topics if you want.
posted
02-Sep-19, 11:01
Avatar for firebolt
posted about 2 months ago
Thanks everyone for your replies!

I want to say that, yes I am unmotivated and maybe I will quit my PhD. I'm only scared of quitting and doing something else and finding myself in the same position there too. Hence, I'm debating if the real problem is PhD or me. I don't wish to regret losing such a good opportunity.
posted
04-Sep-19, 10:12
edited about 6 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From firebolt:
Thanks everyone for your replies!

I want to say that, yes I am unmotivated and maybe I will quit my PhD. I'm only scared of quitting and doing something else and finding myself in the same position there too. Hence, I'm debating if the real problem is PhD or me. I don't wish to regret losing such a good opportunity.


You don't have to make the decision immediately. You can continue your PhD and just treat it as a job, while looking for a job. I think a PhD can become all encompassing which is damaging for your health. Taking a step while exploring other options can give you some space to consider the bigger picture.
posted
12-Sep-19, 09:46
Avatar for sheka_chan
posted about 2 months ago
Kindly indicate the domain in which you are trying for PhD. It will be worth while if you can mention the area or tentative title. All PhD scholars go through this phase. After-all you had some motive to join to begin with. Motivation waxes and wanes on numerous factors (perhaps even with-in a day). Self-doubt is the biggest killer of instincts. So watch out ! I was a non-starter as far as writing the thesis is concerned (writers-block syndrome). Well, its matter of time. Push yourself, you will find yourself across the abyss.Good luck!!

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