I'm a first-year EE grad student at a prominent university, and I feel like I'm at an impasse. Basically, I've lost all interest in my research, as well as my (once strong) peripheral interests in physics and math. I have no more motivation. At the risk of sounding like I'm venting, I really have no one else I can talk to about this, and I'm hoping someone can offer me advice. First of all, I have serious doubts about my research group. Though my advisor is respected enough to be tenured, over the past nine months I've slowly come to the realization that he doesn't really do anything new. Pretty much everything he does is incremental, using other people's leaps. In other words, I think he might be a hack. As I would like to eventually go into academia, I worry that I am tying myself to the wrong horse. In addition, anecdotal evidence suggests to me that his group has a high attrition rate. Presumably, a lot of his students quit. I suspect that one reason for this is that he is a terrible motivator. I've noticed that when I come out of our meetings, I feel less enthused about things than when I entered. It's hard for me not to contrast this with my undergrad research advisor, who was able to get me excited about his topic. Lastly, for several months, he gave me little-to-no direction, and I practically had to beg him for something to work on. This is not normal for first semester students, correct? I stopped caring about my research topic itself, several months ago. I don't know why, it just became boring. Since then, I've been going through the motions. Also, it used to be that I learned extra math and physics on the side, kind of as a hobby (since I have no social life). I've found that I stopped caring about that, as well. Basically, my day currently consists of me going to the lab and/or class from 9 to 6 (where I phone it in), and then I come home to either play video games or read the news for the rest of the night. Ultimately, the problem is that I want to be motivated about things, but I'm not. I'm stuck in a rut. Can anyone who's been in a similar situation offer me tips about how to get out?