Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Thinking about the future...

First of all, thak you so much for your caring comments. I feel really happy to have such wonderful friends (who share my hobby :) ). I really think that I have learnt a lot from the things that happened this year and that the next one will only be better.

Today we had a very long talk with DH about me being unhappy. Maybe I succeeded in communicating to him what's wrong with me (I'm not really sure, but I hope so). It's not easy for me to talk about the way I feel and what I want, unfortunately.

We were talking mainly about my career choices. I think what's bothering me most is that I never had this interim period between being a teenager and an adult. You know, the college phase when you are already quite independent, but not yet responsible for others. We married after my first year in college and DH got very sick immediately. I had to quit studying, move to Germany, learn the language and go to work. At 20 I was not really prepared for all this, not mentioning I was not prepared to grow up within a month. I have always wanted to go back to studying full-time, but it was never an option (financially). After three years at work I started studying part-time and made my BS diploma last summer at 27. Now I am in my 1.5 years long Master program and I'm doing fairly well. But still it's different. The studies are not very difficult, nor very challanging. They are designed for people who work full-time and for my taste they are not academic enough ;)

When I was working full time, I was happy the program was not too difficult. I had so much to do, so much to learn for my work, that I wouldn't have been able to pursue a full-time academically hard program. But not it's different. I have quite a lot time (yes I know my DD is an angel and not a real child, but she's so sweet that she lets me actually read or stitch when I'm watching her sometimes). And I feel under-challanged. Yes, I know I have opportunity to learn on my own, broaden what I've already learnt etc. I just have very little motivation to do things on my own. I don't know why. Maybe I have worked under pressure for so long, that I'm not able to do it without any more? Maybe I'm just lazy? Maybe I don't see the goal clear enough? I don't know.

I usually work best under pressure. When I was learning German, I was skipping one course in between any two. I made courses 2, 4 and 6 and after only 6 months was done with learning German. It worked great for me, gave me motivation to learn a lot in the evening (I had to learn the stuff I skipped). When something is too easy for me I automatically loose interest. I am also not very self-motivated and never have been. I need an extern carrot to work hard.

I was very good at school and also in college. I passed the entrance exams first out of over 700 people and had a scholarship. It was easy for me, I had nothing else really serious to do (I lived at home). Does anybody know how to motivate myself without those extern carrots? Stop procrastinating, get working hard again? Only if I'm working really hard the next year I have a real chance to find out if I really wish to make PhD or not. If I don't work hard, it won't be an option at all. But how to find motivation, when even this chance is vague? PhD studies are expensive. They are time-consuming. I'm not even sure if I'm good enough to manage it. If I am able to find enough self-motivation to achieve this goal? PhD is hard work, 3 years at school and then some more for finishing the thesis, etc. Do I really want it at all? Can I finance it? How is my life going to look like, when I work full-time (or almost full-time) and work on my PhD on weekends? Will it affect DD? How badly? Will it affect me? Would it affect me more if I finished my eductaion on a level that is not satisfactory to me?

I'm a planner and I like knowing things in advance. Even more now, after the chaotic first years with DH. I want to know now, what I want and how I'm going to achieve this LOL. Why is it so hard to make a decision?

I still have time to make any decisions regarding my PhD and I'm defintely going to take my time. But writing about my doubts, questions helps to see it clearer.

And yes, I think artificial intelligence is interesting enough to catch my attention for longer, interesting enough for me to want to explore it further.

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