at least 2 strikes

Mary E. Claska Mary.E.Claska at DARTMOUTH.EDU
Fri Nov 3 11:55:51 EST 1995

Wow,  You've got courage which is really wonderful.  I am 40 and just beginning
the 4th year of a Ph.D.   After I completed my proposal defense and my
qualifying orals this past summer I decided in the long run it was not the
right thing for me.  I am leaving at the end of the term with a Master's.  A
lot of things changed for me since I started the program and I finally came to
the decision that the payoff in the end is not worth it.  I came to the
realization that most of the things you do with a Ph.D are things I really
don't want to do.

It is an incredible adjustment coming back to school at this age but it can be
done.  Just realize that your set of priorities may be quite different from the
other grad students and possibly your major advisor.   I don't know what field
you are in but the sooner you get all the quals out of the way and can
completely focus on research the better for you.  Try and get a support group
going (grad students your same age/experience) that you can hash things out
with.  Also, really try to keep some sort of outside
interest/hobby/recreational outlet.  It is hard having a personal life
sometimes because it gets so intense but you really need to get aqay from
science once in awhile.  This is really where I went wrong.  

Best of luck,  hope it works out for you!


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