Road to PhD – My Self-Doubt

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

Nothing I planned seems to work out. My plan to quit working has been backfired (again). Without any saving left, I can’t allow myself to just quit. Being a burden to my parents is simply a thing I merely can’t tolerate. But then, here I am, whining like a crybaby how I really hate my job.


I met my (potential) supervisor for my plan to continue my PhD. Haha. To sum it up, it was a brutal meeting. My Potential supervisor (being herself) told such an ugly truth on regards of PhD and was being completely honest with myself. I don’t know what to do anymore. The whole thing is suddenly now upside down. I have to revise the topic, read more about the topic and importantly, I have to read more about research method. That is definitely, my weakest point in the proposal that I have submitted to my supervisor. The person that I wanted to impress the most doesn’t really seem to amaze and even think that my work is not up to her par. The first question that she asked regarding to my title is “So what? “. I was tongue tied. I should be thinking on my feet and give her an answer ‘so I wanted to study more about the ethical dilemma and whether law could be one of the factors for them to blow the whistle’. Unfortunately, I didn’t. I was taken aback during the discussion session. She warned me that if you can’t answer people when people asked ‘so what?’ to your topic, it would definitely a first step to rethink your topic. The second things that scared me the most is the duration of PhD. She reminded me about PhD duration; those 3 years is impossible especially if I am planning to do under her supervision.  I don’t really care whether it took me 5 or 6 years to do my PhD. I can do that. However, the funding is what I’m worried of. Mara only covered 4 years – maximum period (Last time, I checked in their website). This definitely is what worried me the most. I have to find part time job. She made me questioned myself whether I really wanted her as my supervisor. Truth Be told, despite her being particular and perfectionist, I thinks she’s the perfect candidate to be my supervisor. Getting a PhD is not easy and I wanted someone to challenge and in the same time, guide me during the journey. This entire thing that she told me seems scared me a bit, maybe a lot, given all the information that I got while talking to her. I am at the point where I really doubting myself. Am I capable to do a PhD? Am I good enough? Those questions keep replaying in my mind over and over again. If I did answer that I am capable enough, do I have a spirit to keep going on?


This whole ‘doubting myself’, I tried not to talk about it with my best friends. It was depressing and somewhat sounded that I am undermining myself. If I talk more about it, I may end up does not want to pursue PhD at all.  That thought is much more frightening actually.

Oh, by the way, if it’s not too late, Happy New Year to all the threechinguz followers.



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