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Negative feelings 

Sitting on the floor of the lab crying on a saturday evening, as one does :shrug_r2:

I think I need help figuring out what I want to do in life because I've been so miserable so often during my phd and I'm no so sure it would get better with a postdoc. But I have no idea what I can do and even less what I want to do.

Negative feelings 

@Yulran oh dear - I am so sorry. I'm not in your field, but have been 30 some years in academic labs and would be happy to be a sounding board if you'd like one.

It truly should not be as awful as its been for you.

Negative feelings 

@compostablespork Thanks.
It's just... I like a lots of aspects of the work: the reading papers part, the gaining understanding part, the writing part, the making figures look good part, the programming part, the working for knowledge part, the data taking part. But I can't deal with the constrant stress and hurry, the constant fighting for lab things to work, the pressure to make everything work by myself and the feelings of unadequacy when everyday I can't.

Negative feelings 

@compostablespork I ended up here mostly by inertia because every year at university I was picking up the most interesting things to study, so now I have no clue what other jobs are out there which are not academia. We have seminars supposed to present us with alternatives but it's either "found your own startup" or "do data science, we want to analyse every aspect of people's lives" and both sound a different kind of bad.

Negative feelings 

@Yulran Those do both sound corporate and weird and exploitative and not fun. I totally get you on the fun parts of science. I don't know about the stress and hurry - that in my experience varies a lot depending on institution and PI personality, at least in the US. There are slower paced and easier-going institutions and there are pressure-cookers. But that could also be field specific.

Also if you're left struggling, that sounds like PI problem. Not all labs are like that.

Negative feelings 

@Yulran IMO a good lab and a good PI never leaves anyone to solitude and misery. That's just not ok and I'm so so sorry you're dealing with that. It's plenty to cope with the fact that science is mostly failure and we have to be ok failing day after day. Nobody should ever make you feel like that's not ok or it's your fault. Failure comes with the territory, but shame absolutely does not. My old PI used to say "if this was easy, it would have been done by now." No shame.

Negative feelings 

@compostablespork Yeah, the supervision here is mostly none. I was working with one postdoc on a too big project, with other people supposed to take care of the theory but they mostly ditched us, our PI changes plans all the time, and now she's stretched thin at her new job, still helping me, and also being a parent. I'm mostly ok with the science part not working, but I feel terrible asking her when I can't get basic stuff working. It's always the little forgettable details.

Negative feelings 

@compostablespork Anyway, thanks for letting me vent at you for a while! I'm feeling a bit better now 💚

Negative feelings 

@Yulran I'm so glad! I'm so sorry this goes shitty sometimes and your PI is unable to be a good mentor to you! You deserve better! :empty_heart: I am absolutely happy to be an ear for you whenever you need it! I am such a lab mom and I feel for folks left without a lab mom!

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