I've been experiencing a phenomenon for a couple of months now that I cannot understand. I'm a first year phd student and I'm working on a problem that my advisor has suggested. I've made some progress, but nothing publishable yet. My advisor however says that I shouldn't worry and that I'm making good progress.
There are other students in my peer group with other advisors. Some are in their 2nd year and they are much more successful than me. They have publications, pre-prints, collaborations, they have given many talks etc.
Even though these students are friendly towards me, I have the impression that I'm being considered a "lower class" member of the group by them. I cannot help but notice that when we are discussing about our subject, they are not even looking at me, as if I'm not part of the conversation. Whenever I mention something, I feel like they try to make it clear to me that this is something obvious to them.
I've also noticed that they will very often make negative comments about my advisor (who is a leading expert in our field), they say e.g. that my advisor is extremely strict, that they will keep a grudge against someone if they miss a few seminars, that they are very difficult when it comes to handling funding, or they tell me gossip they've heard about my advisor for petty things that happened many years ago which I don't even know how much truth they contain. I personally have never had a negative experience with my advisor: they have been nothing but kind, understanding and helpful towards me so far, so I don't know what to make of these comments.
I have wondered many times if this behavior towards me is just my impression, since it is only based on minor observations. But still, the outcome of this is that I feel inferior towards these people. I started to doubt my advisor (whom I trust a lot), my potential and even myself because of this situation. I've always believed in myself but lately I find myself comparing to these students and thinking that I will never know as much as they do, progress in my research as they do, get involved in collaborations as they do and give talks as they do. When I first joined this department I felt so motivated and inspired, I felt very confident that such a renowned scientist such as my advisor selected me as their student, but the above situation is affecting my psychology greatly.
Has any of you had any similar experience? Does anyone have any tips or advice in handling such situations?