No pretty pictures or cheerfulness here, folks… sorry if that’s what you were looking for, but you’d best check for that elsewhere.  I just need a little vent before I go off to bury myself in a mountain of work that kind of makes me want to kill myself.

Generally, I adore Friday night / Saturday: it’s nice to have to unplug, because heaven knows I wouldn’t be able to do that on my own.  So I enjoyed a lovely, relaxed twenty-five hours.  And then I turned on my computer this evening, and there went my blood pressure — so high up into the stratosphere, and so quickly, that it was gone before I could even blink.  There were about a dozen e-mails in my inbox from my group partners (two separate projects, as if one isn’t stressful enough)… they had all day to work on this.  Never mind the fact that they apparently don’t have jobs, either, because they’re constantly working on this in the daytime hours during the week.  Don’t ask me how the hell they can afford this school if they don’t work, because I work full-time and I still find it to be a financial albatross.  Anyway.  That wasn’t my point.

The point is that I am sort of in a complete panic here, because it looks like I’ve done something or said something to convey the notion that I’m anything other than a dumb brainless moron, and that I’m actually someone who understands what the hell I’m supposed to be doing here. 

I absolutely don’t.  Of course I don’t — I’m just the biggest fraud who has ever lived, and don’t ask me how I managed to make it this far in life without having anyone else figure that one out, because it’s a complete mystery to me, too.

So I have to work on these two group projects… and that paper which I still never finished (because despite swallowing my admittedly oversized pride and asking for help on it, it was not forthcoming), and another project that I never finished because after I started it, it got so daunting that it began to cause anxiety attacks.

If ever there was a situation in which I wanted to pop a pill and crawl into bed, this is it.  But I can’t do that.  Not tonight.

I have no idea how I’m going to manage any of this.  I have no idea why I ever thought that I could.


3 responses to “Fraud

  1. I feel exactly the same way when it comes to my uni work! I’ve pretty much talked myself up to everyone in the department and they think that i can do all this stuff but really I’m absolutely clueless! Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. Even admitting that you don’t know what you’re doing doesn’t mean that you’re an idiot. You can do this, hun. Just one step at a time. And I’m going to use the advice I just typed and apply it to myself.

  2. I think these feelings of inadequacy and anxiety are common to almost all PhD or grad students. I have the same sense of ‘what am I doing here? I’m really an idiot with the IQ of a cucumber’ and have daily blocks when it feels like…well, mental constipation if that’s not too grotesque a metaphor. I feel totally clueless and out of my depth: the actions of your classmates illustrate that they don’t know what they’re doing, and I know you don’t think much of yourself but clearly they believe in you (and I do too).

    My point is, if someone as bright as you can’t do this, no-one can. You’re not at fault for feeling stressed, anxious, any of it. An element of self-doubt is okay, but don’t let it become crippling. You are NOT a fraud: you’re nearing the end of a tough journey and it’s only natural to be burnt out on some level, but no-one gets as far as you have without being one of the sharpest, if not THE sharpest pencil in the box (or pencil case, or tin, depending on where one keeps one’s drawing materials).

    We all have faith in you.

    P.S Congrats on a fab 5K: it looks bloomin' cold where you are though!

  3. I saw your 5K news on FB too – well done!

    The others have written such good comments already, can I just say I agree with them? Hang in there ❤ it'll all be over in a few weeks. I know that's no consolation NOW though. Best of luck getting through all the work xxx

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