I came across a little post on facebook the other day, where some one was talking about writing a memoir about their days in graduate school.
I wish I could write. I really do. I can't express myself well enough to convey the soul shattering and paralyzing loneliness, frustration, depression and not to mention sheer madness of grad school. It is a tragedy though, I used to enjoy it when I started out. I loved the challenge, I loved having to figure out stuff for myself. Little did I know that stuff I had to figure out for myself would be funding. I found it extremely difficult to try to figure out a totally new method of extraction and analysis with no guidance, all the while wondering how I'd manage to find money to eat the following semester. I realized, it is not possible to work at your best if you do not know literally where your next paycheque is coming from. I spent a few months agonizing over what I should do next. Then one day I was sitting in my car, drinking a medium coffee (with milk and sugar) from Dunkin Donuts and smoking a cigarette while staring across a fallow field. When suddenly I just said to myself "Fuck this! I can't do this anymore", and that was that. The day I decided to quit my PhD. was brilliant. To use a cliche "it felt as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders"..ok, just for you gentle reader I will come up with something completely different. you know when you drink a lot of beer and go on a road trip and are dying to piss really badly (read level: Tycho Brahe*) . In the worst possible way, you are forced to hold on because the next exit/ pit stop is like 20 miles away. Then when you finally get to the pit stop you see Mahesh Babu (back story) and then you go to the loo, you know how that feels? This was exactly like that, only mentally and no one was in danger of wetting themselves..only of committing homicide.
*It was long thought that Brahe died because he was at a banquet and needed to pee really badly and could not get up as that would have been bad etiquette therefore developed complications and died. Recent studies however indicate that he may have died of mercury poisoning.