Wow – did I ever have “damn, am I stupid” day today 😦

I met with my supervisor and gave him the rest of my thesis (a good thing, yes). He hadn’t read anything else I had given him over the past two weeks, but he told me he’d try to read everything by the end of the week.

Right after lunch he brought me my intro with corrections. For some reason I’m really taking these comments personally, and it doesn’t help that he wants me to add a TON of stuff. Now I don’t know where to start, or where to add certain sections…I just feel overwhelmed and freaked out. I only have 19 days before I have to submit it.

Then I went to a PhD defense – the student has 7 published papers…SEVEN!! Well, one was a second-author paper…gah!! Who publishes seven papers during their PhD?? I couldn’t follow her talk at all, not even the title slide!

Anyway, I feel like shit and just want to cry (and have on and off all afternoon – just ask DH). I just want this awful part of my life to be over already!


Comments on: "Impostor Syndrome on High" (14)

  1. Don’t sweat it and don’t try to compare yourself to others. Every student is different and every project will yield different things. Concentrate on being your own fabulous self.

    Not to make you feel bad, but if you include reviews and co-authored papers, I got 9 papers from my time in grad school (7 as first author). And I still feel like a complete fucking idiot 99.99% of the time. I don’t think that’s going to change.


  2. I only had one paper in press by the time I defended. Nothing is more effective at making you feel like crap than comparing yourself to other people! Don’t worry, it will all be fine, and once you get started on those revisions I bet they won’t seem quite so bad.


  3. I only got two papers from my PhD (and a crappy third authorship on a little note in a regional journal), and neither of them was earth-shattering. Every project is different! And all revisions have to be done one line at a time, so get some chocolate and get stuck in… it will get done, honest


  4. PiT – 9 frickin’ papers?? Damn…now I feel even worse! LOL

    Dr. BH: you’re probably right about the revisions. I re-read the comments again and they’re not so bad. In fact, there was one major comment that I mis-read, so it’s a good thing I looked at it again!

    To both: I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others. I think I did at that moment because I had <>just<> read the comments from my supervisor. I just don’t want him to be thinking “man, my student sucks and isn’t ready to defend” :S


  5. JaneB – yup, you’re right. I just have to suck it up and do it. I’m sure once I get started it won’t feel so bad, but I just feel so overwhelmed at the moment. Hopefully after today I’ll have a good chunk of it done.


  6. I have the hardest time not taking comments on papers personally. But that is not what your supervisor intended. Nor is he thinking that you are stupid. He simply wants your paper to be the best it can be. Seven papers is absurd! There is always someone who is going to be more accomplished than you, but there are thousands more who are not! It is hard not to compare, but try to focus on what makes you happy and reaching that goal, not the goal set by someone else. One of the most miserable people I know is highly successful in terms of papers published, but not in terms of successful marriages and overall happiness. Hang in there, you are doing great! You’re almost there!


  7. Becca – your comment made me tear up a bit. Thank you for putting things into perspective – this is just ONE thing in my life, and in the grand scheme of things probably isn’t all that important.


  8. Main thing, It feels personal because it iss personal… it is your thoughts and sentences poured down into your thesis. That said, Advisor is trying to make it better* and add on things and angles you might not have thought about.

    And furthermore, Advisor might have a slightly different angle than you….

    Anyway, try not to think – for the love of God don’t compare to others since as PiT put it, it depends on the field and the project and the Advisor etc – and just start with the changes. One small step at a time usually does it. Try not to look tooo far ahead since that tend to scare (at least me).

    Good luck!!

    *it’s surely already good, but can always be improved


  9. chall – you’re totally right that, even though it’s personal, it’s for a good reason. After freaking out yesterday, I re-read the comments and realized he was just trying to make the chapter that much better. Plus, it’ll help me in my defense.

    I still have a lot of work to do on it, but I managed to bite a big chunk out of the corrections today.


  10. big hugs Mrs CH. It will all turn out fine – just look at the corrections one at a time and work through them. You have plenty of time and it will all get finished (and for the record, I only have 1 paper from my PhD and it was submitted 2 weeks AFTER my defense…)


  11. Science is so hard. So much negative feedback and so little positive. You will learn to take it less personally, but it is still a huge struggle for me.

    Keep your chin up – sounds like you’re almost there!


  12. MCH, I have been MIA for obvious reasons, but I am just catching up. First, I am so proud of you for even having a draft. That is AMAZING and you deserve major, major kudos.

    Second, if my advisor handed me my first draft and said, “eh, it’s fine the way it is” i would take it personally the opposite way – as in, “wow, he really doens’t care at all.” that’s what has happened to me many times in my career and i’ve wished for more attention many times.

    So….it depends on how you look at it. Don’t take it personally. If you wrote your draft in a few weeks AND didn’t need any edits….then you would go down in history as the most amazing student EVER in the history of the WORLD!!!!

    You’re almost there and keep it up.


  13. Anonymous said:

    Look on the bright side, at least your advisor read your draft 🙂 I’ve been waiting for mine to be read for over a month and I wonder if it ever will happen ….

    I also agree that feedback is wonderful, even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time.


  14. PD – welcome back! I’ve missed you around here 🙂

    To all: I do agree feedback is better than none. I would definitely be much more worried/annoying if my supervisor didn’t even bother to read it!


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