zhtmahtm Posted November 6, 2016 Share Posted November 6, 2016 Hi All, So I've started out as a PhD student this fall, and I like the school, people and the city (which is great!). But since I started out school I can't help comparing myself to my new friend - he is also a first year, and we have the same advisor. The thing is that he started working in the lab in the summer, and a few weeks of experience already made him sound like an expert. During our lab group meeting, while everyone else (including him) shares their results and ideas, I end up feeling stupid as I try to understand whatever they are discussing. When I meet with my advisor, he treats me really 'carefully', asking me how my classes are going, how I'm adjusting to school and the lab etc., while my friend gets to discuss about his research. It just feels like I'm being treated as a kid just because he had been involved in the lab just a few weeks before me... and I'm not sure if I'm overreacting here. Another thing that concerns me deeply is my own project. When I talked with my advisor during the interview (before I accepted the offer) he talked about projects A and B going on in his lab. He talked about A for a really long time, then suggested that B was another possible project I can work on. I told him both sounds like a good fit but A sounded more interesting. When the PhD program started, he told me that I could start working with project B, which I was fine with... until I found out that my friend was working on project A. Right now, I'm fine with project B, but this is definitely a more short-term project, and the direction B is going sounds less intriguing than A. Now I'm thinking, so did he get to choose project A first because he was here earlier than me, or maybe he was super clear on his interview that he wanted to work on A? But then I know that he was admitted before I was, and my advisor wouldn't have explained about A so extensively if he really wanted project A.... Okay, even if I end up really liking project B after working more on it, I'll have to compete with my friend for 5 years, trying to get grants and scholarships for similar-themed projects. We'll be getting letters from the same advisor (and others - his advisory committee is identical with mine). I am so overwhelmed with the prospect of being compared to him by my advisor/lab group/other profs as I go on through the program. I really like my new friend for being super nice and funny, and I don't want to end up hating him, but I don't want to compete with him all the time. Maybe I'm being paranoid here. Maybe not. Since the program started out I am stressed out comparing myself with him every single day and I can't do this for 5 years or more... YuccaQ 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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