Whether and when to quit grad school: response to comment on last post.
I feel so badly for you.
I am against people working in careers where they're miserable enough to need medication to function on a daily basis. To me that just says it's not a good fit.
That's not your fault, in my view, it's a problem with science in all of its un-touchy-feely current glory.
Ugh! Would that we could make it a little better, somehow! Blogging will have to do for today.
Of course I suspect some of the reasons you have anxiety, if not all, are the same things I blog about all the time.
We all just feel it to different degrees.
You must feel raw all the time, and that makes me sad.
I'm a little confused about how your advisor got you to work on a project that you found out later has nothing to do with your project. I guess it seemed related, but then you found out it can't go into your Master's thesis?
I'm also confused about whether your advisor has always been more on the supportive side and just recently became abusive (because what you're describing is, to put it mildly, taking advantage of you)?
Or was this advisor always like this (and therefore a major source of anxiety)?
Regardless, I think it's great that you have a job lined up. That gives you tremendous power.
I think you should try first to negotiate a way to get your degree before you give up. In this, though maybe not in all things (if they're like mine), your parents are right.
Here's the MsPhD part of the advice:
Perhaps you need to stand up to this advisor?
Perhaps that won't work in this case and you need to approach whatever passes for a graduate program/advisory committee where you are?
Figure out who has the power to give you what you want, and who is more likely to give it.
Being willing to walk away is very powerful.
In fact, it's the first thing they teach you in negotiating school (okay, so I've never been, but I've read some books).
I'd recommend getting a couple of good books on negotiating. As much as I badmouthed it recently, the one I just read might be helpful for you. It's called A Woman's Guide to Successful Negotiating: How to Convince, Collaborate, & Create Your Way to Agreement and you can get the e-version on Amazon instantly.
There are plenty of books like this out there, and it's worth your time to do this now, breathe deeply, and try to marshal your strength.
You do have some. It's in there.
And then, don't wait too long. Give it a shot. Ask for what you deserve. You want your degree? Say so. You don't have to be confrontational about it. You can work it in as part of another conversation.
Get someone to go with you if you need support, maybe a labmate or a mentor?
If nothing else, you will learn something from this experience.
Personally I hate to see someone go to grad school for 4 years and leave empty-handed, and I blame the advisors and the grad program.
I was actually just talking to a student today about accreditation, and she was saying that although they claim they want honest feedback, the committee that reviewed her program didn't seem like they would do anything about any of the problems.
So I also blame the accreditation process for letting it get this bad at this many places.
And with that, I have to go right now so I can't write more, but I'll keep thinking about you and see if I can come up with anything else.
I'm sure my gentle (!) readers will have more to say that might help you.
And I'm sure you're not alone, by the way. There are others just like you, probably reading this blog. Thanks for writing. I'm sure it will help them, too.