Friday, April 21, 2006

i really don't know anything yet

since starting my phd, i have (1) realized how little i REALLY know and (2) experienced the difference between the UK education system and that of the US. i am not second guessing my abilities or whether or not i deserve to be here, but i am having difficulties getting out of the US frame of mind as it concerns education. as an undergrad (and for a few years as a postgrad) in the US, you get grades, take tests, have periodic evaluations regarding certain material, etc. having just left undergrad, i still have a tendency to reach out for that type of measuring stick. but, it doesn't exist. here, i have found it very difficult at times to stay focused because you feel all alone and have no direction. while one is feeling like this, you are surrounded by other students that "seem" to have the ball rolling much faster than you, are more knowledgeable about certain things, and better researchers. time and time again i mention this in my posts because this is a re-occurring feeling that i have when i look at others in my lab. for someone as competitive as i am, feeling like second best is a big NO-NO. i am gonna drive myself insane if i don't hurry up and get things going. i know i am comparing apples and oranges when placing myself in the same pot as the other students and researchers here, BUT i am a competitor regardless of my situation or circumstances and i will keep trying to compete with these guys until i surpass them.

today, i realized that i am not an expert in ANYTHING and am FAR from being an expert. that is my goal once i finish my phd. i want to be an expert in my research area (and hopefully, many other areas i come across). when i say expert, i am talking about professor-level knowledge of a topic. where a student (or anybody) can ask me a random question, and i can answer the question and give scientific backing if needed. although i did well as an undergrad, i would not consider myself an expert an any area. to be totally honest, since i graduated and have gotten out of the "do these problems, take these notes, listen to this lecture, take this exam" type of education, i know i probably have lost a step or two. but to be totally fair, i am sure i have learned a lot here in this different education system. i really don't know what i have learned though. i definitely do not feel that i have supplemented my engineering knowledge much. yea, i kind of feel like crap right now. like i don't know anything.'s time to put in some overtime and harder work and learn some things and become more knowledgeable about those things that i thought i "knew."

p.s. - sorry this post seems a bit disconnected. i just dumped my feelings.


Blogger Anostica said...

yes I feel your pain...being in a doctorate program never makes ya feel like you know anything..makes ya realize how much you don't know..

i feel like a dumbass daily

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