Grad School Existential Crisis

I need someone to talk to.

I think this was about not continuing on?

Not enough time in the world to worry about school if it’s not something you are getting value out of. It does depend on the field a bit; but I left grad school without finishing a few months back so I could take a full time position. No plans to go back. I don’t want that to color the normal experience though; just where I am coming from.

Just remember that it’s about finishing the degree; not perfection. Let your professors know what is difficult now; strive for health above perfection; and network as much as you can. Think of yourself about 9 months later – would future you be upset at the decision you made now?

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What’s going on? I graduated last year and might be able to help, though I can’t say for sure.

I’m doing a PhD program and have less than one year of funding left. It’s pretty tough, my research is way behind schedule

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This sounds very familiar to me. I’ve got funding until September 2018. I’ve yet to publish my first journal paper. I wanted to do a control systems PhD and I’ve been bogged down in system modelling for the first two and a half years. I just don’t find it interesting and have a lot of trouble just gritting my teeth and doing it. It’s my own fault but it’s still frustrating.

Thinking about it is actually depressing, I kinda feel like a failure. I was doing extremely well in undergrad. How did it end up like this :disappointed:

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Yeah, that’s very similar to me. I do have one paper published but think it’s pretty bad. I also did very well in undergrad. The PhD has been very humbling for me. And like you, I could have done better if I had hunkered down and just done things. I’ve gone months at a time not getting anything done :confused:

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I’m having more of a pre-grad school crisis in that I need several years of crappy low paying work to pad out my resume in the biological field before I have a really solid shot at grad school and I frankly have no idea how I’m gonna make it that long

my best option is my parents’ place, but that is inherently a lack of autonomy and they also live in a very expensive place. that said while I am there I get to volunteer with the freaking Smithsonian (with hypothetical potential for a promotion to technician sometime down the line) which is a huge resume bonus

I am hearing back from a seasonal job in Florida with the federal Fish & Wildlife Service soon (fingers crossed) but that also pays like, $150 a week plus free lodging space. have to cover my own food, and it’ll be kinda humid, but hey, professional experience


Fair warning: I’ve been in higher education for a while.

What’s the difficulty? I’ve seen a lot. People disappointed with their advisor. People who realized they didn’t want the degree. People who realized they couldn’t earn the degree.

Find what you want to do, and pursue the best course for that. It’s my guidance to students in undergraduate degrees. I think it still applies here. If you’re not happy, that’s probably good information to guide your next steps.

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What’s your field of study?

Chemical engineering / Catalysis

I want out. It’s making me so fucking unhappy, but so many people have already invested so much time and resources into me succeeding here—I’m fucking trapped. When I’m bogged down by busy work I’m fine because I don’t think about it. Then I come home and feel so unfulfilled and drained.

OP, how long have you got left until you finish?
Give this a read, it may be applicable to you

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