To stay or go? Life in grad school.
February 27, 2009 2:05 PM Subscribe
Another grad school issue/what do to with my life question. Long inside, bear with me please.
posted by katers890 to Education (15 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I've been in a Cognitive Psychology Ph.D. program for 5 years now. I've had a series of issues with my advisor the entire time I've been here. I am a fairly straightforward blunt person who will not take a ton of crap without saying something about it. My advisor is a lazy passive aggressive person who hates conflict and deals with it by avoiding you if you cause it. Over my 5 years I have felt like I have had to fight to get him to allow me to do anything, including behavioral research that doesn't cost him a dime. Every time I propose research he says that he'd need to think about it more and then ignore me for months on end. When I'd ask to go to conferences (again, which he doesn't pay for), he'd always try to talk me out of it.
Now I'm at the point that I should have my prospectus out, be working on my thesis, generally finishing up. I should also have papers published, in fact I can't graduate without this. He refuses to work on my prospectus (won't look at outlines, talk about research, read anything I've written), telling me always I should work on publishing the papers on the data I have as then no one can have issues with them in the prospectus. However, he also refuses to work on any of my papers. After 2 years of having one of my papers, I finally got him to submit it, it needed revisions, and now, he's refusing to look at the revisions. He made me take a 1 month extension on the revisions, it's due tomorrow and he won't look at it. I have no hope for the 2nd paper either.
So i'm seriously stuck thinking that due to conflicts he and I have had due to different personalities, that he does not want me to be in his lab anymore and that he will never let me graduate, and will simply continue ignoring me until I quit. And I don't know what to do. There is zero support at my school for grad students. Anyone I would complain to would simply just tell him and obviously that wouldn't go well.
I don't know what to do, as far as I can figure, my options seem to be to try to switch labs, no easy feat because many other professors would not risk my current advisor's ire to take me in. In addition, there is not a small chance that I would have to start from scratch, negating my 5 years of work (also, I have a baby due in June, and I need to get out of school for this reason). My other option? To quit. Take my earned Masters and drop out of grad school and find a new life. I don't want to do this. I've learned that I love teaching college students for all their faults, and this is hard to do with simply a Masters. I have no other thoughts for what I'd like to do. So what do I do? Has anyone else been in this situation?
Sorry for the length, I'm just impossibly frustrated and need guidance.