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The Postgraduate Moans Thread

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.