November 15, 2017, by Agata

PhD Guilty Feeling


Have you ever felt this weird disturbing sensation of guilt during your PhD? Guilty that you are not good enough, you do not work enough, you do not read enough … Even if that all sounds ridiculous, most of PhD students experience this feeling! Me too!

PhD is usually very individual work that depends in big extent on our own motivation. That motivation has obviously its ups and downs. When there is no success in the project and many failures in the row your mood starts to get worse and in your head pops up the thought: It is all my fault! You start blaming yourself… ‘That other Wednesday night, I should have stayed in the lab longer to finish the experiment for next lab meeting instead of going for a dinner with friends’, ‘Instead of going to the gym for my favorite class I should have started next experiment and it could have been done by now’, ‘Instead of studying Spanish I should read more papers and improve my project’, ‘Instead of going for a coffee break’ …

Do you know it? Lots of PhD students do.

But did you notice that without these friends who you went on Wednesday night you would not have had people to celebrate your coming birthday? Did you realize that gym makes you have more energy to work? Do you see that learning foreign language opens you option of getting a better job in the future? Did you realize that during one of these coffee breaks you met that person who helped you later in your project? Most of this what you are doing during your free time makes sense! And believe me or not… helps your PhD as it provides you well-being and mental health! Do not forget about it next time you start blaming yourself for doing something for yourself!

Guilty feeling is only good when it appears from time to time to boost your motivation! However, never ever allow it to be your constant and the only company you have during your PhD!

Here is another article who as well refers to the problem of guilt! Check this out!

Taking the Guilt Out of Grad School


Posted in Agata