Signup date: 02 Nov 2007 at 4:45pm
Last login: 21 Nov 2009 at 2:05pm
Post count: 266
Firstly, please accept my apologies for posting a thread about wanting to quit. I noticed there have been quite a few in the last month or so, and I feel just awful for posting yet another one. I don't know why, but I do!
I'm posting this in the hopes that those of you who have quit/are in the process of quitting will PM me about your experiences. I'm so desperate to talk to other people about this. I feel so alone right now in my decision, and really need some support from those of you who have gone through this.
I've been doing my PhD for nearly two years now, and I simply can't go on any longer. I feel as though I've been fooling myself and everyone else who's been supporting me. I feel like a total failure for not being able to carry on, and for having held on for this long and not coming forward sooner about these feelings. I've been really unhappy for ages, but pushed on in the hopes that what I was experiencing would pass, but it hasn't. I can't believe how much time I have let pass. My motivation is non-existent, and hard as I try, I just cannot get any work done, and haven't been able to for ages. I know I've come to the end of the line with this, and it's time to cash my chips in and move on.
I would really like to hear from others about their experiences, so if you're going through this or have been through this, can you PM me? I would really appreciate it.
Congratulations to those of you who are doing well with the PhD! I wish I had your self-motivation and determination! I really do.
Thanks alot everyone!
I know exactly how you're feeling. I too have been getting annoyed with all these expectations. Three years is not a long time for a PhD really, and if you throw everything else into the mix, it becomes even more stressful than it already is! I'm feeling the pressures of all this too, and everyone I talk to is also feeling overwhelmed.
Hi Smilodon. I have always had problems sleeping, and I find that things like antihistamines really work (Benadryl). I wash them down with a cup of camomile tea. Also, I have found that Valerian is really helpful (herbal remedy which you can get from health food stores). You can get it in different forms (tea, pills or extract).
You're absolutely right when you say that three years isn't a long time. It goes by so fast that it's hard to believe! I thought I'd have plenty of time, but the days just disappear in a flash. The next thing you know, six months have passed and you feel you've accomplished nothing. It's so hard to gauge your progress, because we're all on our own and have no way of knowing if we're getting anywhere. We have our sups, but I think they actually play quite a small part in it all.
I've worked out that I can only study a total of 3-4 hours/day. I simply don't have the attention span to go beyond that! I'm one of those people who thinks that progress cannot be measured by the amount of hours you work. It's quite funny listening to other people in my department subtly trying to work out how much progress they have made by measuring themselves against others.
Yeah, I'm right there with you. I've been sleeping loads,can't seem to get enough of the stuff. I've started taking naps in the afternoon as well, which I really look forward too! I seem to sleep better in the afternoon for some reason. At night, I just toss and turn. I hope this is just a phase, because at the moment it seems like the only thing I look forward to is returning to my bed!
I (very briefly) entertained thoughts of dropping out. I hit a crisis moment and was terrified that I wouldn't be up to task. I had images of getting so far into the PhD, and then realising that it wasn't what I wanted. Then I realised that maybe I was trying to talk myself out of the challenge, and became determined that I wouldn't back down. I tried to think of how I would feel if I wasn't doing the PhD, and then realised that I would feel depressed and disappointed that I didn't fight it out. I do respect people who decide that it's not for them, but for myself, I think I would feel great regret.
Hi spacey. It sounds like you're experiencing one of those classic phases of doubt that plague all of us at some point (or several points!) in the PhD.I've had similar crises too. I guess the problem is that when you're going through something like this, you can't see beyond it and realise that it's going to pass. I would imagine that even seasoned academic go through this, though they wouldn't necessarily admit it. Just know that this is part of it. It's a huge venture we've undertaken, and it's not surprising that we're going to hit periods of panic!
Alot of full-time PhD students take 4 years to complete. It's pretty common for PhD students to struggle financially. In fact, I think it's part of the whole process. I wouldn't actually say you were in such a bad position actually. At least you know that you're going to be able to fund your studies!
I totally agree Olivia. It's madness how little holiday-time workers in the US get. Americans are always so shocked when they hear how many days/year we are given in the UK. One of my friends in the States is currently getting a divorce. The reason he gave for wanting to separate was 'neglect'. His wife was working 70+ hours/week. Her phone was ringing continuously, and she just wasn't capable of enjoying anything outside of work. I'm not suggesting that this only happens in the States, this is a universal phenomenon for sure.
I started out with this same fear. I had moved to the uni from a different city and hadn't made any friends in my department. Most of the students were much younger than me, and I didn't find anyone that I felt particularly comfortable with. I also lived (and still do) about 45 mins away from uni, which made socialising pretty difficult. I'm still in the same boat really, though I have made a few friends and have consciously decided to not let my PhD rule me, which is a personal choice--I understand if people want to make it the centre of their lives. For myself, however, I was starting to find that having other things in my life helped to eleviate my worries. Though you're not getting involved in uni stuff, are you doing anything outside of the PhD eddi?
You'd probably find that there are different types of PhD students--the ones that are always hanging around, chatting with lecturers, maximising the facilities, going to every seminar on offer, and the ones who have busy lives outside of their PhDs, and just come in every once in a while for supervisions, an odd lecture here or there. There's no set way. You won't be looked down upon for not getting involved, if that's what you're worried about.
I think this is all perfectly standard. It's pretty common to feel isolated, especially if you're doing a PhD which is wholly independent (ie no lab work, no office space). To address your fears--you're not actually obliged to get involved, though you may find that once you do start attending stuff, you'll feel more integrated and part of it all. If you feel more comfortable on your own, then that's okay. There are no stipulations regarding a PhD student's involvement in their department. Is this what you're concerned about? that you're expected to be going to these lectures/seminars, etc?
The THES uni ranking each year has alot to answer for--what a pretentious load of twaddle. It's all about the strength of each individual department and your supervisor. There's no way that a whole institution can receive a blanket rating. I didn't go to Oxbridge for any of my degrees--are we meant to feel inferior because we haven't ticked that box? Lyds, you should be happy right now that your PhD studentship is sorted out and that you've got full funding. Don't pay any attention to this ridiculous notion of an institutional hierarchy.
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