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Posts Tagged ‘When to Quit Grad School’

Like a lot of things, my knowledge of graduate student experiences in sociology programs is limited.  Talking to a few of my new colleagues the other day, I was surprised to hear one of them state that he figured graduate school was hell for everybody.  I didn’t think much of it until I came across this post on Inside Higher Ed about when to quit academia.  Obviously, people leave academia for all kinds of reasons, but according to the author, a lot of people leave because they do not want to put up with “years of the grueling dissertation-writing process (which can be totaled up in dollars, tears, therapists’ bills, damaged relationships, etc.).”  These concerns are reiterated when she discusses those who have completed their Ph.D.s, stating that the costs of doing so are “Severely compromised mental health, a significant debt, relationships that needed some nurturing after long periods of neglect.”

Personally, I enjoyed graduate school and could have stayed indefinitely if it weren’t for the low pay.  Nevertheless, I did not go into debt as a graduate student, my mental health has not suffered, I have never seen a therapist, and graduate school did not negatively impact my relationships.  Granted, there is likely to be a benefit to attending a school closer to the top of the rankings than the bottom, but I hope that the norm is closer to my experience than that of my colleague.

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