Linked Questions

73
votes
9answers
26k views

I wasted six years of my life getting a PhD degree. What should I do, and how will I survive?

I struggled with low self confidence throughout my bachelors, masters and PhD in chemical engineering. After spending two years in Masters and six years in getting a PhD degree, I am lost at what I ...
67
votes
10answers
20k views

I recently started my machine learning PhD and I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing

I started my PhD a few months ago. Seriously, I don't know how I got accepted, but here I am. I am not a computer scientist, but come from a different STEM background. My knowledge in machine ...
59
votes
13answers
10k views

I don't have the theoretical background in my PhD topic. I can't justify getting the degree

I did my PhD in computational materials science. I used molecular dynamics simulations and finite element method to carry out my research investigations. I have published several publications and ...
68
votes
11answers
7k views

Is praising students' aptitude harmful?

As a computer science professor, I have told some talented students one-on-one that they show a real aptitude for computer science and that they should seriously consider taking more classes in it. I'...
42
votes
14answers
16k views

My advisor said that I should be more modest, and we should meet more often. Should I tell him about my impostor syndrome? If yes, mail or personal?

I am a PhD student in Europe, currently in my second year, and I have some attitude problems concerning my work. I really want to work on my problem, that's fine, but what bothers me is the following....
44
votes
8answers
9k views

Is it OK to have a PhD thesis with shortcomings and inaccuracies?

I recently defended my PhD thesis and was awarded a pass with some minor corrections. I am due to submit the final version of my thesis very soon. The examiners were both very happy with my thesis, ...
35
votes
11answers
13k views

My PhD defense is next week and I am having negative thoughts about my work and knowledge. Any advice on how to tackle this?

I am presenting my PhD thesis in front of my committee next week and I feel that I have just not done enough. My work is simple and I also feel that I have poor theoretical foundations and am going to ...
53
votes
5answers
8k views

The feeling of inferiority entering a PhD program due to one's undergraduate school rank

According to Stanford's Computer Science graduate admissions department this year: 110 students were accepted. Nearly all accepted applicants were from Stanford (BS/MS), MIT, Berkeley, Princeton, ...
53
votes
6answers
5k views

Is it normal to feel dread before starting a faculty position?

I need some advice. After several months of interviews and work, I secured a faculty position at a good business school, which was a relief since jobs are so hard to get around here. Everyone tells me ...
49
votes
6answers
12k views

I've been admitted to multiple PhD programs, how should I choose between them?

I've been admitted to more than one PhD program, and I'm having a very hard time making a decision. The programs I'm accepted to have advantages and disadvantages with respect to one another. How do ...
29
votes
8answers
7k views

Is it okay if a PhD student's work seems insignificant compared to others'?

I am a theoretical computer science student working on algorithms. I am doubting myself a bit, as I have spent the last 6-7 months working on one problem. Although I am not able to solve the desired ...
43
votes
8answers
5k views

How can a new PhD Student objectively evaluate how well they are doing?

I'm a relatively new PhD student, and I'm faced with a new (for me) situation. Before, I always had grades and the likes to tell me how good or bad I was doing: if I was at or near the top/bottom of ...
23
votes
8answers
5k views

Feeling unprepared for PhD because of poor educational system in my home country. Should I leave PhD to retake courses somewhere else?

I will give some background. I am from a third world country, and I am doing my math PhD in Europe. During high school and university years I participated in many maths competitions, and even got to ...
36
votes
3answers
6k views

How do I know if I'm good enough to be a math professor?

I would like to apply for graduate school to become a mathematics professor. However, given that the opportunity cost of grad school is high and that I already have a stable, good paying job, I would ...
17
votes
6answers
7k views

Do I even like doing research?

Currently, I am a part-time research assistant in the field of physics. My supervisor is brilliant and very nice. He always encourages me and says that I have done a great job so far. I don't know why ...

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