Signup date: 02 Nov 2007 at 4:45pm
Last login: 21 Nov 2009 at 2:05pm
Post count: 266
I must admit, I'm quite nervous about post PhD life. I'm doing a PhD in the Arts and Humanities and I've heard it's fiercely competitive, acquiring a lecturing post.
A question for all of you: If you knew that you wouldn't get a lecturing position after the PhD, would you still do it?...because that's a thought I'm trying to contend with at the moment. Any feedback from you guys would be most welcome.
Hey Moji! I have to say...YES! The PhD definitely affects your love life, from my personal experience, and I don't think there's any getting around that one. The thing is, sometimes your partner (and anyone else for that matter) will be speaking to you, and you're just not there! Your mind is off decrypting, working through things you've read,trying to make sense of it all, etc. I would definitely agree with what some of the others have said, about partners being in academia themselves making a world of difference, as they will understand all of our idiosyncracies and wobbly moments.
Lamp, I'd like to relay to you a little story of a friend of mine who got swept up in the same situation to yourself. She actually started dating her supervisor (and was switched to another supervisor). However, things didn't work out, because the whole crux of their attraction was that they were attracted to the allure and fascination of what could be, not what actually was, so after a few months, they broke it off. Now, that unfortunately meant that she felt extremely uncomfortable in the department, around both staff and students, so much so that she eventually quit her PhD from embarrassment and not being able to face the music. I'm not trying to bear down on you, just thought I'd give you an example of how this could potentially go wrong. Ultimately, I guess you have to do what you feel is right for you.
Well QT, he does loads of stuff with his supervisor--they go out to lunch, to conferences and lectures together, email each other regularly, etc. It's astonishing, I've never witnessed such an amicable supervisor/student relationship before! Yeah, it's all a gamble really when we start, because we really have no clue about the character/nature of our supervisors until we jump in (unless, of course, you carry on with the same institution where you did your undergrad/postgrad degrees). I'm perceiving a personality clash with my supervisor. I try to be convivial when I see him, but he just shoots me down every time by having this look on his face like 'I've got better things to do than be here with you right now.' It's quite dispiriting, usually takes me a couple of days to cool down after our meetings. Anyway, sorry to go on. Hope you find the right fit
I hear you--going through the same thing at the moment. It's tough isn't it? What I've tried to do is just sit down and write about the material I've read thus far, without thinking too much about language, format, etc.--just to capture my tangential thinking onto the page. Then, you can go back later and formalise it. What do you think mokey?
QT I'm so chuffed to hear that you're going to push on with it, and I think looking to another institution is a great idea. It will give you a chance to start afresh with no baggage. Good luck to you mate! Gotta be honest, I'm having issues with my supervisor at the moment that I see building up to something explosive. How in the world do you find the right supervisor, I wonder?! One of my mates gets on so well with his supervisor. Is this a one-in-a-million scenario?!
Hey Charlie! From my own personal experience, and hearing other people's stories along the way, I'd say don't push yourself too hard at the beginning, as most of us probably did when we started, and then realised 'Hey, this is a long race...think I'd better pace myself!' One sound piece of advice I would give is to have other interests outside the PhD so you don't burn out. Make sure that you're doing other things that you enjoy alongside your study, shake it up a bit so you don't get bogged down in routine. I find that exploring new study spaces breaks up your days (museums, coffee houses, etc.) ENJOY!
QT, I'm so disgusted to hear how you have been treated. This is a disgrace. Firstly, you were very much in the preliminary stages of the PhD, to be sure! Most students are completely lost in the first year of the PhD (this is standard). The first year is about finding your feet (acclimatising, finding your way around the uni, the town/city, the resources at the uni/library, etc.) My heart goes out to you, but don't let the experience of this knock you down, please don't. Stay strong my friend, and push on.
Spiegboy is absolutely right--this is most certainly the best thing to do. Also, I've found keeping a running list of the materials that were most useful has cut out so much confusion. I keep this as a list of things that have been read and are to be read again at a later date.
You're not alone, don't worry. We all feel like this. I expressed your same concerns to a friend and he said: 'Take it easy!' So when I'm having a frazzled moment, I think of those words...or have a glass of wine. Maybe that will help. Don't forget, there's life outside the PhD, and that's one thing I think we all have to remind ourselves when we're feeling low.
Ohhh bother! My heart goes out to you. Unfortunately, this happens often, and I've seen with my own eyes! However, all is not lost! Firstly, how close are we talking here? (i.e. are the similarities conceptual/textual, or both). The reason I ask is because, from my understanding, the notion of a PhD being 'original' is often a problematic and debated one. Many PhD students are put off from their original interests due to finding articles in journals which closely reflect their hypotheses (so frustrating when that happens!) However, originality can simply constitute taking a different stance by looking at a concept via a certain text. I sympathise with you, if that's any consolation.
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