I have read many PhDs have a feeling of failure during their studies. At the moment I am seeking a reflection, from someone who is/has been a PhD and maybe a similar situation.
I found myself in a group of around 10 PhDs under 1 supervisor. All of them are non-native speakers, struggling with English, and speak their native language (which I do not speak) amongst each other. Meetings with my supervisor deteriorated into short, few minutes long conversations, where he presents his ideas, that are unprecedented in literature, or his previous research.
I have decided to detach myself from his suggestions and try ideas that I can reference in previously published literature.
To give the full story, I have followed his advice and suggestions, but this lead me to a dead end, twice. After quite a hard time, realizing that I am fighting my supervisors advice and undoubtedly a fear of another failure, I have stood up and started again.
A new idea, new approach. I took all the relevant courses and read literature. After several tests, the idea seemed to work.
But as of yesterday, I found a flaw and a possible problem that discards my 4 months or work.
I am a PhD for more than 3 semesters already. Within the first two I followed every word of my supervisor, working 12 hours a day, to deliver on his suggestions. This failed, his ideas failed, I have failed. I think I can blame him for the ideas, but I am to blame for my naivness to blindly follow something, that he and I knew nothing about.
The last semester was all machine learning and AI and 12 hours a day in a lab to make my own testing setup. Now I am facing a failure, or at least a very intensive feeling of failure.
What to do? Please, notice the word "forward" in the title means I am opened to any point of view. Leaving PhD (temporarily/cancelling), starting new PhD in English speaking country or working. I really don't know.
P.S. The lady at counselling is very nice, but far from offering real help/career advice. Other PhDs cooperate together, but since there is a language barrier, I am left out. My supervisor has little / no understanding of machine learning or data I am working with.
P.S. 2 I am temporarily in a bad mood. It is hard to admit, but in this and previous situations I had break downs. Crying in my room, in my office or anytime when I realized, what failures I had been through, and that there is probably no one that could help.