Getting burned out and losing interest in PhD

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by ryoder, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    I just realized yesterday that I am getting somewhat burnt out on this PhD.
    I am now close to the final 1/3 of the program, the hardest 1/3.

    After this research design class I have:

    1. qualitative methods
    2. statistics
    3. quant methods
    4. comps
    5. planning for diss
    6. diss 1
    7. diss 2
    8. diss 3
    9. diss 4

    I can definitely muster the will to plow through qual, stats, quant but I just don't know about the rest.

    There is not as much instant gratification in this pursuit as there was in the BSBA, BA, MBA, and CAGS I went through. Oh well. Soldier on.
  2. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    To give you a bit of perspective, we've been at this about equally as long and I'm not even done with my BA.

    I was wondering when you'd finally hit a bit of a wall, or even a spider's web or take a water break or something. You're only a few years older than me, but at times when I read your posts, I think "I wanna be like that when I grow up."
  3. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    What you're experiencing is normal. Pace yourself and press forward.
  4. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    You have come to far to give up. What helped me was to focus on one class at a time and not look at the whole thing (which can be overwhelming). When you get to the dissertation there are lots of books to help but most advise you to keep moving forward working on something every day.

    Finally, if you want an anonymous support group, try . The would be doctorates support one another, vent, provide advice, etc. Mainly lets you know that you are not alone.
  5. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Been there just like Garp said. Just take it one class/challenge at a time and you will get it done. If you end up ABD what is the worst thing that could happen?
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Sometimes people advise to take a semester off. Catch your breath, etc. Sometimes people become concerned that if they get off track they won't go back. I can understand the burn out but what I'm not hearing from you is that you don't care or that your original goals have disappeared. If you can slow down without stopping I'd say you should push through. I'll buy you a beer when you finish.:friday:
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    In other words, what you have left is the doctorate. What's left are the things that distinguish the doctorate from other degrees. This could either be a motivator or a bummer. That's up to you.

    It's not going to go away, either. Imagine having done with your coursework, had advance to candidacy, conducted your field research, written the first chapters, and being weeks away from submitting your draft dissertation and still feeling like quitting? (All while managing a full-time work schedule, strategizing a career change in your 50's, and planning a cross-country move.)

    If you can, then you're ready for the rest of the degree. Good luck in your pursuit.
  8. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    Thanks guys. I guess you have echoed my current sentiments. Just take it one step at a time. What really bugged me was when I read a dissertation much like the one I am planning. It was quite a nice dissertation and very thorough but I realized how far I have to go to create one like that and it is daunting.

    I'll just take these classes one assignment at a time and enjoy it as much as I can.

    Randell - you are right, ABD isn't too shabby

    Maniac - I was bound to hit a wall some day. Might as well have been right at 3 years in. I decided to begin my CLEPing around this time in 2010. I am 37 so I am sure I am much older than you. Just got back from the gym and I feel it.

    Thanks everyone. I won't quit. At least not right now.
  9. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    3 years in and you have 2 Bachelor's degrees, an MBA and are on your way to a Ph.D, all while keeping up with your workouts. :hail::notworthy::wow::You_Rock_Emoticon::bling:
  10. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    But you don't want to settle for ABD when you can focus, maintain consistency and excel. If ABD is absolutely one's best (whether in terms of ability, context, etc.), then be grateful for what you've learned. My hunch is that you've simply encountered one of the numerous low points that require a bit of rest, a time of reflection, evaluation and refocusing, then renewing the process toward completion. You CAN DO IT...........
  11. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    There were times I was so stressed I could not think or function (no joke). I thought I was going to have a breakdown at some points dealing with the process and difficulty of the paper. Your life will suck, you will doubt your ability to form a simple sentence, you will be stresses, you will be a jerk to the ones around you...but in the end it is worth it. :sgrin:
  12. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    Randell I am already a jerk so this should be a piece of cake ;)
  13. distancedoc2007

    distancedoc2007 New Member

    Well, there is no shame in giving up. I was prepared to do so at several points. There are truly better things to do with your life. That being said, I'd say the finish line comes faster than you might imagine, and you start to rack up little succeses that move you closer, a chapter gets approved etc. Be easy on yoursef and realize that the enthusiasm will come and go.
  14. Paidagogos

    Paidagogos Member

    I say just keep on pushing through. A dissertation is a daunting piece of work, but it is also a major work you can point to and be proud of for your entire career. Once it is done, it will be a major accomplishment.

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