Just the facts:
I love chemistry, but I’m leaving graduate school this month. I’m going to try and find a job in the Berkeley area and stay here for a while.
Just the FAQs:
Wait… WHAT!?!? …Why? Well…. that’s not much of a question, so here’s not much of an answer: It’s complicated. There’s no single reason for this decision. Grad school is a lot of work, and I think I rushed into it a little too quickly without really being confident enough in my skills, or sure enough in my commitment to warrant working so hard. Yes, I want a Ph.D., but I need to make sure I want it for the right reasons (and no… I don’t know what those are). I am well known, at least to myself, as a bit of a commitment-phobe. So the thought of spending five years laboring towards a degree I’m not certain I need just screams anxiety to me.
When did you decide this? About a week ago.
When are you leaving? I’ve stopped working in my lab already. I’ll be finishing up my teaching duties and exams over the next two weeks, but I’m not actually going anywhere since I’ll be back in Berkeley after Christmas.
What do you plan on doing with yourself? Right now I’m applying for all sorts of jobs, from baker to lab technician. I already have joined a tutoring service that operates throughout the bay area, and will hopefully be able to make a little money off of that while I find a more traditional job. Long-term plans are less clear. I anticipate that I might make some attempt to return to grad school after a year or so. However, I might just end up doing something completely different.
You should consider working for a different lab! Maybe you’d like it better than the one you’re in now. That’s not a question… and that really doesn’t have much to do with why I’m leaving either. I like my lab and the people in it. ’nuff said.
Don’t you think you’re making a huge mistake? I guess we’ll find out.
Want to talk about it? Well, I just did. But we can certainly talk more if you want…