To quit or not Quit my research position

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Brown06
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27 Oct 2010, 7:27 am

Hi all, I am in a graduate program and a very demanding research position with it. I basically go to school full time at a number 1. grad program and work 25-30 hours a week for tuition remission and some monthly cash. Doing this with my classes has me running from one place to another from 730am-10pm at night. My breakdowns/meltdowns have been through the roof, some even turn into severe panic attacks, I have them at least daily when I get home.

I hate quitting but I dont know, the idea of doing this an entire year seems daunting, and I could always get more loans--my program is one that offers 100% loan forgiveness for my area of work---but I hate quitting...

I feel out of steam and more upset than I have been in a very long time...I feel like people are pulling at me at every end and ripping me into shreds and at the end there is nothing left, nothing of me is left....I feel so hopeless and terrible, like I am failing, even tho right now everything is somewhat ok...

My work is also highly social, I go to 8 schools in a single day, I hate it...

Should I quit or not --please nothing snarky or backhanded as when I post there seems to always be someone who wants to preach to me about how I am clearly an idiot or something.

Sorry by quit I mean by research position, not my grad program



Last edited by Brown06 on 27 Oct 2010, 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

deadeyexx
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27 Oct 2010, 8:43 am

As long as it's only for a year, I'd say suck it up and keep going. Just be sure what you're studying to do is what you really want. If so, you'll forget about this stress in a couple years, but thank yourself for putting up with it for the rest of your life.



pandorazmtbox
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27 Oct 2010, 9:24 am

First off, everyone in grad school has meltdowns, feels overwhelmed and regularly doubts whether they made a good choice--I have it on good authority from my NT friends and colleagues that crying fits and self-doubt are par for the course. It wasn't just me because I'm aspie. ;) And I'm sure it isn't just you, either--especially if you are in a really 'good' program.

Second, before you make a decision, please stop and consider why you entered the program in the first place. What goals did you have? Did you like what you will do in the end? Do you still like it? Will you like it when the degree is completed? Or will your job on completion be just as socially demanding/difficult? If you still have those goals and basically like your field, it would make sense to tough out the discomfort and find some ways to cope. Find a colleague to confide in and trust or a mentor you can turn to when things get very difficult. Find some ways to decompress on highly social days...etc.

If it turns out that your goals have changed, or you don't like your field any more...I think considering leaving is sensible, but I wouldn't make that move lightly.


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AnotherOne
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27 Oct 2010, 10:00 am

if your research position is not only for money but for contacts too and if it is sufficiently good to make it stand on your resume than you should stick with it. if it is only for money, a good loan could be better IMO.

if you need to stay, just don't think about it too much, make a schedule and stick with it without thinking. good luck.



Brown06
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27 Oct 2010, 5:42 pm

Thanks and again let me clarify I am NOT thinking about leaving my program, I just meant my part-time position that is not required and extremely demanding.



pandorazmtbox
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27 Oct 2010, 9:40 pm

Brown06 wrote:
Thanks and again let me clarify I am NOT thinking about leaving my program, I just meant my part-time position that is not required and extremely demanding.


Okay, that wasn't clear to me...but make sure that there aren't political ramifications of leaving that position. They may tell you that you are free to go, but really it doesn't always work that way--especially if your supervisor is your committee chair.


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Zolea
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28 Oct 2010, 2:38 pm

It depends of the place you are doing your PhD. If your relation with your advisor is correct (or better ^^ ), why not speaking with him/her? I remember my advisor saying (about one of his other grad student) that he would have liked to know her doubt before she quit. The point was that he would have been able to resolve some of her problems and she may have continue.
I know a lot of "NT" grad student who have the same issue, especially while working in so many different places.

Good luck.

P.S: I'm not native english, thus please forgive me for my grammatical/orthographic mistakes.



deadeyexx
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28 Oct 2010, 2:55 pm

Brown06 wrote:
Thanks and again let me clarify I am NOT thinking about leaving my program, I just meant my part-time position that is not required and extremely demanding.


Depends how much you need the cash. If you can afford to quit, or have something lined up to replace your job, then go for it. If not, work until you do.

Of course, if the job is SO stressful that it's effecting your school work, quit immediately. You can figure out a resolution later when your mind eases.



billybud21
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01 Nov 2010, 9:15 pm

I hate telling people what to do so I will only make a suggestion:

If you are not happy with your research position or you feel it is encumbering your education, then you should seriously consider terminating the position.

The reason I make this suggestion: I am a graduate student as well and I spend the first three years of my Ph.D. program as the de rigueur RA/TA. Yes, I made a little money (emphasis on little) had a great “don’t every get sick” student health plan, but for the most part these positions slowed down my progress. It took all my energy to deal with the job, so I ended up not focusing on the most important thing -- my education. After those three years were up, I was able to find a great job on campus where I am left to my own devices and don't have nearly the stress and anxiety. Plus now I am and actual employee of the university, the pay is good and I get great benefits.

Good luck and I hope the suggestions and advice you are getting helps you in making the right decision for you.

-Johnathan


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