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Everything posted by GradHooting

  1. Thanks for the encouraging words. I feel as if I might need a lot of that at this point, because I am seemingly unable to conjure them up for myself. I'm just drained, and I'm looking at the job market thinking "I'm really nothing special, nowhere near where I had wanted to be." This is all just in terms of master's degrees too. I realize with full conviction that a Ph.D. was probably not for me unless I had found a fantastic match.
  2. So, lots of hectic things have been happening in the past few months. I managed to get myself on track to graduate with a coursework master's degree by the end of the summer. I will just be hanging around to complete some research. I was hoping for a better final cumulative GPA, but my "minimum" in my head was a 3.5. I managed precisely a 3.5. Given the circumstances of the year so far, I suppose that is not so bad. It's not exciting, or a huge relief, but it is "ok." I am just finishing up the physical therapy due to the car accident, and am in the process of applying for jobs through
  3. Well, on top of all the other mess, a woman thought it was more apt to text her friends than it was to watch the bumper of my car. As a result, she smashed into the back of my car at a relatively high speed, totaling my car and messing up my neck. Now, I have 4-5 doctor's appointments each week that I am required to commute to throughout the week, which is seriously compromising what little ability I had to keep up with my studies. I'm not even taking a full course load, and I am behind on my two classes, and all I am doing throughout the day is struggling against what little concentration
  4. In my department, what was expected of me was to spend at least 6-8 years pursuing my Ph.D. I bailed.
  5. Thanks for the kind words, everyone. Unfortunately, it seems that my desire to gain some sanity in my life has resulted in the professors from all directions doubling down on the pressure they're having on me. They want me to have all research done for a thesis by October, while teaching two classes over the summer and taking classes, teaching classes, and doing research on the semester that I am to finish my thesis. I simply do not have time to breathe and I will not be allowed to even leave the city at any point in 2015. I do not know whether I have the emotional wherewithal to do this.
  6. Well, I made a pretty important decision today. I am now pursuing a terminal master's degree with a thesis option (hellbent on getting published, though). I would love to pursue a Ph.D., but it would have to be in something I enjoy. What I did in this case was follow the money. If I was doing something I actually enjoyed, I'd definitely stick around to complete the degree. But it's 5-6 years of formative years of my life not enjoying where I am, all for a piece of paper which merely states that I am capable of completing the work necessary for a Ph.D. I love the science and I love learni
  7. I am going to be talking to my advisor on Monday. I have a lot to talk about. My performance has been absolutely horrendous despite putting in 81-100 hours during the week. I am working at probably around 30% efficiency and I am making mistakes that I never made last semester. The workload is the same as last semester! I'm just not of a sound mind right now. I am starting to see all the problem around me and am starting to realize just how much of a commitment I am making. I was up for 21 hours straight trying to get a homework assignment done that everyone else seemed to get done in
  8. Your anxiety about the test in general is honestly a pretty good sign. You sound like you recognize the weight and potential difficulty of it and have taken the necessary steps to prepare yourself. The people who brush off the quals thinking it's a walk in the park are the ones I worry about
  9. I was really enjoying my time here last semester. The research wasn't that interesting, but I was making the best of it. This semester, the amount of stuff I have to do on a weekly basis has been severely ramped up, the class that I have been teaching is now being taught by my abusive advisor, and my attempts to find emotional sanity or confidants outside of therapists have been hindered due to the realization of the requirement of 60-80 hours a week, 50 weeks a year. I looked more into just how long a Ph.D. was going to take, and asked myself whether it was truly worth the ~7 year sacrific
  10. I don't know how much longer I can do this. Almost every day I'm curled up on the floor in tears, feeling like there's no escape, just trying to get my work done. The hours are just so much. I don't know. My therapist seems to have run out of ideas.
  11. Ah, I forgot to clarify. I was referred to these two professors by the graduate coordinator. I know that, for sure, I will not be able to work with one of them. One of them is the "graduate advisor" for the general grad program for my focus. The other is... I don't know, to be honest. They have some vague ability to do something. One of them is going to get me information on which professors have money, I believe. It's just waiting it out for me, right now.
  12. I absolutely love this idea of lab rotations. I wish we had that at my school. It makes so much sense.
  13. So, two professors are aware of my intents, and they both consider this information coming out to be just as annoying for them to deal with as it would be for me to deal with. They also have some administrative roles in the department, and they will be coming back to me with potential opportunities (e.g. funded). I tried to better pinpoint the demeanor of my PI which makes me come to the conclusion that it would be unbearable to purshe a Ph.D. under him. I have worked in the missile defense agency, for NASA, on various research projects that required learning things I did not know and re
  14. There are some professors in the department who have a personality that I would jive with very well, I think. Unfortunately I have not had too much time talking to many of them. I was also told that I should make my intents of leaving clear to my professor immediately instead of ask around behind his back. On the other hand, I don't want to risk soiling my own bed before I know there's somewhere else to go. I'm in a tough situation.
  15. I've gotta be honest: There are a myriad of subjects which would interest me if the overall vibe around said subject was that of enthusiasm and positivity. Right now, I feel like I am simply on my professor's leash and regularly shamed. I am sick and tired of working through these bugs, and I do not know how to improve upon it. I hear that there are situations where the students get along well with their professors. This would be unbelievably helpful to me. There just seems to be a fundamental disconnect with how my professor communicates, and how I most effectively receive information.
  16. Well, the title says it all. Here are the following reasons: I feel culturally isolated. Everyone else in my research group consists of Chinese and Korean nationals and I have never met a more insular group of people. They are also the most passive group of people I have met. My attempts to socialize and get to know them on any level fall flat. Additionally, it is *way* too hard for me to understand the accents of even the most social ones. There are frequent communication mixups that occur. I am completely alone, socially. Half the meetings I walk into are exclusively spoken in Ma
  17. Here's a rant. This will probably be offensive, so I will try to make it as nice as possible. Grad school is an opportunity to mingle with people of many different nationalities, which is fantastic. I have found, however, that this mingling does not happen very often, and nationalities tend to keep to themselves in separate groups. While disappointing, I normally can find a group of US citizens and hang/talk with them. However, in my graduate research group, I am the only US Citizen (this is a US School). Everyone else is from China and South Korea, and the language barriers are infuriat
  18. Thanks for the reply. It might just be the case that people talking about other "superior" schools in the manner they do might be some kind of tongue and cheek thing that my depression is influencing me to take more seriously. I indeed suffer from some fairly heavy depression, though the past semester has been overall fantastic. It's the best semester I've had in years. I've never made this much progress with depression before. I have just been avoiding this particular issue because it indeed does set me off. I have the tendency to perceive those who achieved their dream school goals as
  19. I am not done with my classes yet, but I have spent terms with no classes and just research. My opinion is: 100% research is fantastic. I have my own schedule. I will gladly work 80 hours a week with my own schedule, my own difficulties, instead of bind myself to a fixed schedule where I have to get assignments done which might not relate directly to the progression of my dissertation. So, for me, the looser schedule wins hands down. I still have to produce results by key time frames, say, on a weekly basis, but I can completely schedule it to my satisfaction.
  20. They're both excellent schools. Contact professors and find out research you want to do. The difference in what you personally value, research-wise, in each school will be far greater than the difference their respective names will make on a tech resume.
  21. While I frequently suffer from the influences of "name-brand" recognition, and am certainly not in the best place to advise you on how to treat your degree, your huge mistake is how you're thinking right now. The good news is that the mistake is just limited to your thoughts, and not on your actions, yet. ETH Zurich is an excellent institution. EPFL is an excellent institution, as is TU Delft, U of Nottingham, Uppsala Univ, Aalto Univ, etc. I implore you to make the most of wherever you get your degree and not worry about transferring. For every minute you spend mulling over whether you m
  22. I am very likely running from a deeper issue. It is a MacGuffin in the plot of my life that, right now, hiding in the idea that going to a more elite school will solve my inferiority problems. I think, right now, that going to a more elite school will somehow be a deus ex machina. Suppose I did go to a more elite school? Will I suddenly feel better? Sure. I will most certainly feel better... for maybe a month. What then? The goal would then shift to something else; I would compare myself to fellow students, perhaps. I would envy people with elite family ties, child prodigies, social
  23. Just a preamble for context: Hey everyone. I just wanted to thank the users of this forum, in general, for being extremely supportive. When I was battling my years-long depression when attempting to apply to schools, you offered lots of constructive advice and support. I finally got a full fellowship to a so-called "Top 10" engineering school and am pursuing my Ph.D. there. Much of the mystery around my long-standing depression was finally wiped away a diagnosis of adult ADHD. After starting treatment at the end of last semester, I have to say that this semester has been absolutely fanta
  24. TakeruK, Thank you for the information. That is likely going to be the format for our own lab, as well. My interaction is going to be minimal in terms of actual lecturing. I will be doing lots of demonstrating of equipment before they use it, however. The students are given a formal lab report guideline sheet, which surprised me, because we all had a bound style guide book that we had to adhere to. It seems that my concerns about keeping the interest of students, upon further reflection, are rather unfounded. They will be so focused on getting their project done that there will no
  25. I have a question about this. It looks like they changed the eligibility criteria and now allow second year graduate students on their first term to apply. My GPA is definitely less than stellar, however. With time, my doctors noticed that my ADHD coping mechanisms without medication were breaking down during the first year. Now, with the right treatment, I feel completely different. I still managed to keep my GPA high enough to retain my fellowship as well as pass the Ph.D. qualifying exam in the first year instead of holding off a year. The disability office was a massive, massive help
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