Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Grad School Quittas with Happy Endings

Sometimes it's easy to get bogged down in the depressing reality of grad school. Even the act of quitting can be a drag when you think about how much struggle people go through, how hard it is to find work, how much uncertainty there is. But here are a few stories from quitters who went on to be really, really happy with their decisions.

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?

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