Post # 1
I’ve just been wanting to get a few things off my chest. I am currently a Ph.D student, but I am really truly regretting starting. I want to leave my program and enter the real world. I’m not even half way through yet and still have several years yet. But I’m not the type of people who starts something and doesn’t finish it. It’s not that I can’t finish, it’s just that I don’t want to finisih. I don’t think there is anything out there for me that would require me having a Ph.D for. FH had been incredicbly supportive. He said he doesn’t care if I sit at home and take care of the animals if thats what makes me happy. He wants me to do what I want to do. I even went and spoke to my boss about it, and he was also supportive. His advice is to take a years leave of absence, so then if I realize I’ve made a mistake I can always go back into my program. I am just already so full of regret for even starting this program.
But right not I’m just feeling incredibly anxious and nervous and don’t know if I’m making the right choice. I think I need to hear from a few people who made major career changes and how they got over these feelings. Words of encouragement wouldn’t go astray either.
Post # 3
I know that career changes can be difficult!
I had the opposite situation – I was stuck in a dead-end job and wanted to go back to school for my Masters. However, I was VERY nervous about leaving my job (and paycheck!!!) to go back to school full-time. My DH was very supportive and I honestly feel that it was the best decision I have made. We were able to make it work financially and I graduate in May. I already feel that I have so many more opportunities!
The point of my story: Go for it! I think your advisor gave you good advice about taking a leave of absence. If you are truly regretting going to school, try to find something that you would enjoy doing. What types of careers are you interested in?
Post # 4
@gingerspice: Thanks so much, it’s nice to hear somone who went through something similar. I think my next step needs to be to find what I’m truly interested in and what I can do with my Masters as opposed to my Ph.D
Post # 5
hey! I feel like I was in a (somewhat) similar position and had to make some hard decisions a few years back. I was doing my Masters program and was trying to decide between a PhD program and law school. I took the year to do my MA, applied for law school then went to live in Australia while I heard back. I know after three years of law school I was absolutely DYING to work. I did a summer term at a Toronto firm and going back to law school (aka to more debt) was so upsetting, when all I wanted to do was get on with my career!
I think it would be helpful to know what your other options are. Are you worried only about the time to complete, or also where you could get a tenure track position? Are you getting a PhD to teach or for another career field? It’s such a huge committment it is definitely worthwhile to consider your motivations and what you think might be waiting for you at the end of the education tunnel.
Post # 6
Oh wow. I understand you completely. I was in a similar situation in my 3rd year of university, where I debated whether I made a right decision. What I did, was I took 1 year leave of absence, during which I gathered up my strength, relaxed for a bit, concentrated on myself and meditated on what I really want to do with my life. A year later, I decided to go back and finish what I started.
You can do the same. Maybe you’re tired from the university studies, which is absolutely understandable – I was exhausted. If you need to take some time off, it is no crime. Do it for yourself. The degree will still be there if and when you decide to come back!
Post # 7
I did a phd as well and i totally regret it!!! I’m not one who wld leave things unfinished either but i really really wished i quit! I finished…but feel so unsatisfied and i was jobless For a long while trying to change my career path away from what i have been studying so long for.. With patience, i finally found what i liked n i feel so much better! I just wished i did this sooner! So i say go for what u want!! Quit now and do what makes you happy! U wont regret it if its wat u really want! Dont let others (family, professors, supervisors etc) affect u.. I did and i regret it..i wished i listened to myself then. Good luck!!
Post # 8
@raleigh: I wouldn’t be worried about the time left to complete if it was something that I really truly wanted in life, but since it’s something that I’m not motivated towards, two and a half years seem like a really long time. While teaching may be an ok fit for me, I’d never be able to do it here because at this univeristy to be a full time permanent lecturer you also need to be a reseacher which is the farthest thing I want right now. I think you’re right I need to figure out what I want to do with my life and go from there. I’m incredible anxious to get on with my life and career, but I shouldn’t let that rush my decision either.
@LucyDiamond: Thanks for the excellent advice. I’m seriously considering taking a leave of absence. I think I just need some time to think and possibly even work to see whats out there for me now with my M.Sc. It’s nice to hear from someone who took a leave and it worked out the best wayf for them. Hopefully it does for me too.
@ariaK: Thanks, thats what I’m worried about. I’m worried about being over qualified and regretting the 4 years it took for my Ph.D
Post # 9
And as a total side note, it feels so good to get all this off my chest on here!
Post # 10
Can you come back to your PhD after a few years’ break working? My brother-in-law had a job for a couple years after college, got fired, and went back to school for his MS, then PhD. Now he has an internship but can’t find a decent job. I mean – who wants to pay a PhD with basically no experience? Part of that is his attitude that he’s above a lot of work since he’s a PhD, of course, but a lot of it is he’s overqualified with education and underqualified with experience at the same time.