I am a doctoral student in the engineering area in Europe, Belgium. I applied for the project in which I am in April and was accepted. I also had other offers from England. I liked the subject and refused the other offers, also because of the higher salary and the beautiful city where the university is located. I started in early September. I have always been a very dedicated student and a passionate and curious person, but now I go to work only because I have to and sometimes I feel very depressed and nervous, and these are the reasons why:
- The supervisor is a good person. He looks good, is very calm, but has shown a lack of knowledge in the field where I am. She is a strong researcher, but in the field in which she graduated (which is also the field of my degree)
- It is a small department with a very small laboratory. Everyone is on the paper of others and I don't think it's because they have made a great contribution to the work. I'm like a family and even if I enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, I don't feel "proud" of where I am;
- When I applied, they told me that I had to do some tests in a very interesting laboratory abroad. These tests are important for having very precise data (experimental data should be compared with numerical work) and they also told me that I had to integrate a technique into a production process. I discovered the first week that people using the machine are in a very early stage, they have to learn to use the machine and this was not emphasized during my interview. Furthermore, the test will probably not be performed abroad. This has negatively affected the way I perceive them. I feel that they have selled the position without being totally honest with me;
- I come from another field. I'm not really understanding most of the things they say and I doubt I am the right candidate for this position. I'm starting to think I just hired "because" I have a strong resume. To be more precise, I am a civil engineer and the field of my doctorate is more on material / mechanical engineering.
- I can't change my topic: my project is part of a bigger one. This is another important reason why I wanted to go to this university. I liked not being alone on an island, but I liked the spirit of collaboration and the link with the industries. But I can't really follow them when they talk, they speak another language for me.
What do you think of this situation? I have been alone for two months. My feelings are very bad and I don't know how to talk to my supervisor. I often think to quit and to find onother position, but I feel that is very hard in my position now. I know that i am unhappy and if I had another possibility, I would quit.