February 25, 2009

Decisions

I made a decision this week to withdraw from my PhD study - in the end it wasn't even a hard or a big decision - it just came to me - I didn't want to do this anymore. Ahh, clarity - how wonderful it can be!
I have been struggling for a while now with how to combine full time work, family and friends, reading and enjoying life in general with my studies - it just wasn't working and I couldn't see how it ever really could. I have completed other post graduate study in the past but that was nothing compared to what was being expected of me for this research. It really hit me over the weekend when I thought that my PhD just wasn't a priority in my life at all - there are so many other things I want to be doing and experiencing in my life right now.
I do love to learn and to study - and I think I will go back to some type of formalised study in the future - but for now I want to enjoy all the randomness and variety that life can bring me. Can't wait!

19 comments:

farmlanebooks said...

These big life decisions are always really hard to make. I'm not surprised you were struggling to fit all that in - I didn't realise you had so much going on. I hope you enjoy all the randomness!! Good luck!

Eva said...

Enjoy your more random life! :)

Nadia said...

I went through the same thing a few years ago. I was in the middle of my PhD studies and I just realized that I was not enjoying it or giving it my all as I should be. One day I just woke up and decided this is it, I don't want to work on my PhD anymore and I quit. And it felt so good. I know that one day I will want to get a PhD, but at the time it was just not the right time. So, I say to you - Congratulations! Enjoy your life and all it has to offer.

Iliana said...

Congratulations on your decision! Enjoy the randomness :)

Karen said...

Hi farmlanebooks - now that I look back I'm not surprised I was struggling either! It feels really good to have let something go.

Hi Eva - thanks! I'm not always a person who is good with "randomness" but I really want to give it a try.

Hi Nadia - it's amazing to hear of so many people who have been in similar situations. It sounds like you and I felt very similar about our decisions - it's great to have that reinforcement.

Hi Iliana - thanks! I'm really looking forward to seeing what comes next!

Jodie said...

Good idea I think - your PHD will always be there, life runs away a lot faster.

Karen said...

Hi Jodie - that's exactly what I think!

Laura said...

It sounds like you are really happy and excited about your decision. I hope you enjoy the extra time and freedom!

nutmeg said...

I remember I went back to university in my mid-20's (after firstly completing a B.Comm) and I enjoyed it as I was studying English literature - mainly for my own interest. But when I finished that degree I thought "... that is enough "formal" study for me" - I want to fill my life with other things.

Like you said - it will always be there to return to should you so wish!

(p.s. I don't know if you have email notification on your comments but I have left quite a few comments on some of your previous posts as well!)

megan said...

Congratulations on taking the leap :) It sounds like it's really making you happy to have made this decision, so it was obviously the right thing to do.

I can relate - when I began my MA straight after my undergrad degree a few years ago, I was juggling so many things - my first 'proper' full time job, my relationships, all my hobbies (travel, photography, writing and reading take up sooo much time!!) and a mysterious illness that I developed on my first trip overseas.

I ended up taking a year off, and it was the best thing I have ever done, for my health and for my sanity.

Good luck with it :) Think of all the books you can now read for pleasure!!

Karen said...

Hi Laura - I am very happy and relieved by my decision - and enjoying the freedom!

Hi Nutmeg - thanks for sharing your story - it's amazing how many people I am realising have been in similar situations - it's quite reassuring really. No - I don't have email notification on my comments so I will check my other posts.

Hi Megan - juggling so many things just gets really draining doesn't it?? I'm really looking forward to having so much more time to read too!

Steph said...

I'm in a research-based PhD program, and I can completely understand how liberating withdrawing from your program must have been. I think I will vicariously enjoy it with you! I think it's hard for people who aren't in academia to understand how difficult this decision can be, so good for you for doing what feels right for you.

Karen said...

Hi Steph - thanks, it is nice to have people around who understand what it is like. All the best for your research!

antipodeanowl said...

Well good for you for listening to your moment of clarity! It seems that perhaps the learning journey you are seeking right now is not to be found inside the walls of academia. I always like to remind myself of the Roethke quote, "I learn by going where I have to go".

Enjoy your 'new' time! :D

Karen said...

Hi antipodeanowl -that's a great quote - and very much something I need to hear right now so thanks!

Danielle said...

Isn't it nice to make such a huge decision and feel so good about it. It must be a huge relief, and it sounds like it's just the thing you need for you right now. And it's nice to think you can always go back to it, or something like it if you need to later. It makes everything else so much more enjoyable.

Karen said...

Hi Danielle - you are so right - I feel as though this huge weight has been lifted from me.

Tamara said...

My friend, I honour your wisdom and congratulate you on listen to that moment of clarity. I am all too late in my response, but you have good friends here. Good on ya girl. Enjoy the moment, enjoy the weekends, and enjoy life. Hope to see you soon...

Karen said...

Hi T - Thank you so much! As soon as I made the decision I knew it was the right one so I am very glad that I finally listened to myself.