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Dropping out

  1. Mar 26, 2008 #1

    I am a first semester Master's student in Canada, and I'm giving serious consideration to quitting. My main reason for considering this is that I simply do not enjoy what I am doing enough to put in the work necessary to be successful.

    My question is whether anyone knows of any cases of students dropping out of a graduate degree for personal reasons. I am very concerned about the effect my quitting will have on my supervisor and on my group, and whether my actions are too irresponsible to follow through with.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2008 #2
    you can't live for other people, if you aren't into it and if you don't see it changing than you should quit.

    why did you join a masters program in the first place? if there are things that you still want to learn and the like it might be worth staying.
  4. Mar 26, 2008 #3
    One of my friends decided to drop her PhD after two years - she subsequently switched to slightly different field and started another PhD at a different university where she is MUCH happier.

    Since this is just your first semester you probably haven't dug too deep into your research project yet. (Do you know yet what your project will be on?) You've probably also just gotten to the point where your classes are starting to be a bit overwhelming. And since you just started your program in January your social life is probably sucking a bit too.

    If you do think you want to quit you should try to formulate an escape plan (eg start applying for jobs). You may also want to check to see if your contract obliges you to teach until a certain date.
  5. Mar 26, 2008 #4
    There were a number of reasons I started the masters, but I think a lot of it was following the crowd after graduation. It seemed to be "the thing you do" after a BSc in physics.

    And I do have a project lined up, but its still in its infancy at this point.

    The "escape" plan you talk about is one of my reasons for not wanting to make a rash decision; I really dont know what I would do with myself. I feel like a BSc physics with zero job experience isn't exactly the most sought after employee.
  6. Mar 26, 2008 #5
    You'll have to make some scarifies then. The poster who said that you're not living for your adviser is completely right. You need to make a decision... perhaps make a list. What will you gain if you continue with the Masters? What will you gain (or lose) if you drop out and begin searching for a job? Who will have the better job outlook after a few years... a person with just a bachelors or someone with the Masters?

    These are some of the questions you shoudl think about. All in all, I think people (in this case you) need to realize the pros and cons of what you're doing. If you think about these questions, you might become more motivated to actually enjoy what you're doing. For whatever you're learning, take it with a general approach and try to tie concepts together. I've found (especially with myself) that brute memorization and just trying to get the grade in the course doesn't help.
  7. Mar 27, 2008 #6
    Yeah, probably a third of masters students and half of doctoral students do it. Especially in math and physics, grad school is presented as the natural thing to do after undergrad. Unfortunately, a lot of students end up finding out the hard way that grad school isn't right for them.
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