Posts Tagged ‘dissertations’

I’ve been contemplating this post for way too long, and I’m still not entirely sure I should post it here. But reading the accounts of others who walked away from grad school without finishing or academia after getting a degree has been helpful to me, so I figure I owe at least this.

To get right to the point, I’m seriously considering walking away from my dissertation and the PhD program I’m in. I’m not 100% ready to go, but I’m pretty sure.

I entered the program in fall of 2006 and am currently ABD, but I just don’t really see the point in finishing. More importantly, I feel like the only reason I didn’t leave earlier (like 3 years ago when it would have made a lot more sense to bail) was some sense of duty–needing to finish what I started and not letting people down and other rationalizations born out of indoctrination and stubbornness.

A quick rundown of how I view the upsides and downsides of staying or going:

Arguments in favor of leaving:

1. I have no intention of pursuing an academic career, and getting such a job isn’t likely to happen even if I did. People, and I mean people who are better academics than I, and people who are willing to move for jobs, for the most part aren’t getting academic jobs. The academic job market sucks, and I want no part of it.

2. I need to adapt to the place I live and we don’t want to move. Despite moving here for grad school, the town where I live is home now. My daughter is in kindergarten, has great friends whose parents have become our friends. My mom moved here to be near her granddaughter and provides free childcare when needed. We own our home. Our garden is awesome I like my neighbors. The cost of living is low, and there are many things I would be satisfied doing for a living here.