For the longest time I've wanted to go to graduate school but this summer, I keep having panic attacks and emotional meltdowns in the middle of the night and now that's all changed. Earlier this spring, I accepted a TA/tuition reimbursement award to begin this fall for a PhD program; but now I want to recant it. I simply don't want to go to graduate school at all but I'm worried about the legal ramifications and letting down my letter of recommendation writers and people at this university. I was hoping someone could explain the possible legal ramifications, if I told the university I didn't want to attend, since I signed a contract to be a TA and its already July now. Would it be better to contact the department, talk to a graduate financial aid advisor first or just stick it out? Here's my rant. I just can't deal with the stress and anxiety of school and exams anymore. I was taking a full upper level chemistry/physics/math course load year round, working 2-3 jobs at a time to pay for school and I had countless all-nighters to stay in the top percentile of my classes. In hindsight I was drowning in stress and fatigue and at the time I wasn't even aware of it, it had simply become routine. I wasn't unhappy but I definitely wasn't a cheerful person, awake or full of much personality. Now since May when I left my undergrad, its kind of like I took a step back and I'm living a whole new life since I don't have any classes/projects for the first time in 2.5 years; the stress and anxiety was lifted, I'm much more sociable and I actually feel relieved for the first time ever that I'm not in school. Its not that I'm lazy and can't handle stressful situations, I have a great record/resume, but with this lull in my life, I've realized I'd be much happier trying to find a job and working. And the jobs I'd expect to get after grad school don't require a PhD. However, recently the anxiety that I'm going back to that lifestyle is tearing me apart. It keeps me up at night and I keep having an emotional breakdown every night. I keep getting panic attacks during the day and I just start stressing out whenever I try to study for my entrance exam. I'm dreading starting the program; I've lost the passion over these past few weeks of summer and I'm beginning to think I'm dooming myself to fail out. But I don't think there's a way to save face and exit the program before it begins in a little over a month. If I could pull a lever and leave, I'd do it. Any advice?