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I need some advice as I’ve been struggling a lot with the mental battles of doing a Ph.D. It's now come to a point where I’m considering quitting, because I’ve almost finished 1/3 years without much progress. I don’t mind using more than three years (without funding toward the end), but I’m worried that my advisor will not accept this solution. My project is a part of collaborative work between different partners so any deviation from the plan will inevitably affect everyone. We have set certain goals and I’m currently far behind on all of them. I’ve been feeling pretty demotivated about this part of the project, so I want to ask my advisor how we could change it to make it a better fit for me. I don’t want the decision to affect the people around me but I don’t see any other outcome. If I quit I’m afraid I’ll put my advisor in a bad light and that people don't want to work with him in the future, because of my failure. I feel kind of unqualified to be in this program and on year of experience has not helped much with this. From the beginning, I was questioning their decision to allow me to join. I know I’m mainly responsible, for this, but my point is that these thoughts have brought on a level of self-doubt that is very hard to work with. I’m currently seeking counseling for this, but I still need to deal with the messy situation I’m in.

Please let me know if you need more details to answer my question properly. I appreciate any advice.

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  • Does your program have an annual review to check on student progress? If so, that would be the natural time to discuss these issues.
    – Allure
    Jun 30 at 1:20
  • Yes, we have one every December, but given the limited time I have, I feel like I should get the problem solved a bit earlier. Jun 30 at 6:10
  • "1/3 years" may mean 4 months. Please clarify.
    – Dilworth
    Jun 30 at 12:47
  • "If I quit I’m afraid I’ll put my advisor in a bad light and that people don't want to work with him in the future, because of my failure." Your plan is to spend at least 2 years of your life on a project because you believe that otherwise it may put someone else in a bad light? That doesn't sound like a sane plan to me. (Not that I'm saying you should quit. I'm just saying this is a bad reason to stick around.) Also, you seem to vastly overestimate your own importance when you imagine that people won't "want to work with [your advisor] in the future because of [your] failure." Jun 30 at 21:00
  • I meant one out of three years @Dilworth. I get that that was confusing. Jun 30 at 21:34

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