I've got some half-finished posts in the pipeline ... I'll get something new up later this week, I promise! Real life has intervened this week and gotten in the way of my blogging. Stupid real life. :)
In the meantime, I just ran across a comic at The Oatmeal called "Why Working at Home is Both Awesome and Horrible," and couldn't resist posting it. Something tells me that even though it's not about grad school specifically, a lot of the grad students and academics who read here will find it amusing (and possibly painfully true).
So go over there and check it out! And if anyone is artistically inclined, perhaps we could do an academic version. I'm no artist, so I'm not sure how to portray "neverending academic guilt" and "feelings of inadequacy" in visual form.
Also, I ran across this Ph.D. Comic the other day, and found it both amusing and sad.
You know, I was at the arrows when I left - I've put in a stupid amount of time in grad school, but couldn't take it anymore - and I don't regret it. So, you know ... all isn't lost if you decide to go, as I've said many times.
If you're utterly miserable and hate it when you're at the end of grad school? You shouldn't necessarily press on just because you've come this far. But you shouldn't necessarily quit either.
Am I confusing you? Probably. What I mean is that if you find this place by googling "I hate grad school" and are trying to decide what to do, take a minute to think about exactly why you're miserable. If you're miserable because you're tired of your dissertation and your advisor and just want to go work on other projects or teach at a new school? Okay. You should probably hurry up and finish and not quit.*
But if you want to leave because if you look at one more journal article or regression table or theoretical argument or student or professor you might snap and lose your mind? If you are finding that you want to quit because you hate all academic work and want to stop doing it?
You may be a Type 1 Leaver and should seriously consider quitting, even if you've put in a lot of time already. Because, damn. If you hate teaching and research and analyzing data and theorizing in grad school ... what do you think you're going to be doing as a professor???
That's right. It won't get better when you're faculty if you hate the work you're doing in grad school. Because it'll be the same work. So think about that. Think hard about that.
So have a laugh at the comic, but if it rings true to you then please think about why you are nodding along and thinking "...yeah, I do want to quit, but I've put in too much time to quit." The world doesn't need more miserable people chained to academia. Don't be scared to quit just because you've been there for awhile. We've all done it, and we're surviving. And life is too damn short to stay tethered to a job you hate, just because you've "been there a long time."
Okay, that's enough seriousness from me. Poke around those websites and have a few laughs. You deserve it! :)
* (Although if you're in the humanities, I would still advise you to be planning an exit strategy for leaving academia eventually. Because there are no academic jobs in the humanities. Finish your Ph.D. if you must, but don't count on an academic future.)