You ever feel like you've lost your way?

03-Mar-20, 15:32
edited about 11 seconds later
Avatar for overthinker
posted about 5 months ago
Hi everyone, thanks in advance.

I'm finding myself in an increasingly uncomfortable situation at my institution. While I've been working on my proposal I have been working (temporarily) in an admin department for the last couple of years. It's been good (if mundane) work and it keeps me more regularly in touch with academic staff members than I was before.

However, my prospective supervisor frequently butts heads with those in my department, creating an awkward working environment sometimes.

Neither my work colleagues or my supervisor ever force me to take sides or do anything to make me uncomfortable, but I am concerned that over time this could lead to an erosion of the (I believe very good) relationship I have with my supervisor.

Does anyone have any other experiences of things like this or know of any ways to deal with it? I think part of the reason this is getting to me is that I almost feel as though my identity as an aspiring academic is being challenged through an "adversarial" relationship between departments and I'm scared I'm losing that part of my identity.

So I guess on a much deeper level, does anyone have any advice on how to keep the academic spark alive when you feel cut off from the academic (research) world itself?

Any advice or stories of your experiences would be great to see and hopefully could help anyone else feeling this way at any stage of PhD application or completion!


P.S (This started as a post about this specific situation but writing it out gave me an epiphany about the deeper issue of academic identity... Thanks for being with me on the journey!)
03-Mar-20, 20:40
edited about 7 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 5 months ago
Quote From overthinker:
However, my prospective supervisor frequently butts heads with those in my department, creating an awkward working environment sometimes.

That is not a good sign. I know a couple people who have a supervisor whose has been ostracised from the department. There is open contempt for this supervisor because of a personal matter. They have trouble collaborating with other PhD students because there are several members of faculty who refuse to work/publish with this supervisor. I don't know how many other problems they have had but students have to be relatively sufficient, as there will be less support from the department.

Also personally, my supervisor gets along well in department but the lab technicians hate her. They straight up told me that they do not like her email warrior attitude. They understand I am not her and get along fine with the technicians but if I have a certain issue my supervisor can not help me. As if i involve her, my issue turns into an argument, with me stuck in the middle. It is an utter pain being stuck in the middle and it does impose some limits to what you can normally do.


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