I am an undergraduate student, and am using a term to study with a professor. We got along well in his class and I thought he had a keen interest in helping students.

From what I understand, initially I was supposed to work on a project that some other group would deliver to us. We waited until a week and a half ago, and abandoned that. In the meanwhile, I have basically been reading full-time. Unfortunately I find it very difficult to read for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and so have been losing a lot of motivation at work. Typically when reading technical stuff, there is something I can apply it to which makes it easier to remember and motivate for. Instead, I am reading through entire textbooks, cover to cover.

I have asked my supervisor what sort of project I can start working on, but he has instead told me to continue reading and that I need to be “more proactive”. Is it normal for me to have to propose my own projects when I have no idea what the state of the art really is? I feel as though he is blowing me off. I have proposed projects before but he has said that they aren’t relevant enough to the field.

The last working month has been one of the most miserable experiences of my life and it’s been negatively effecting my professionalism, work ethic and personal relationships. What can I do to rectify this, given that I’ve already spoken with him? Do I need to resign?

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