This Italian scientist did a post-doc at Cambridge before bailing on academia and "getting a life." Includes this extremely lovely infographic:
He was particularly disillusioned by the toxic, competitive culture in his graduate experience. He ends up stumbling into a developing position in a software company.
This Mom bailed on her MFA when she got pregnant and says it's the best decision she's ever made. I love this line:
... honestly, I’ve probably done more for my career by getting out there and just writing instead of sitting in a stuffy room with a bunch of hipsters talking about writing. I can’t say that having a baby is a one-way street to maturity for everyone, but for me, that’s a pretty accurate description.
Speaking of mother-writers, Barbara Kingsolver is a grad school quitta, too. Before she ever published a novel, she was deep into graduate work in ecology and evolutionary biology. She spent some time doing science writing before turning to fiction.
So chin up. What seems like endless darkness may turn out to be a blip on the radar of life, you know?