Starting graduate school is an exciting time—new mentors, new colleagues, new ideas, and a new future are all laid out in front of you. Finishing graduate school, however, can feel decidedly different, especially if you start to discover that maybe you don’t love the academic life like you expected you would or you’re ready to pursue your next great big adventure. If you find yourself asking “should I finish my PhD?” know you are not alone. Most graduate students ask it at some point.

Many people chose to start graduate school with very little information about what the experience will be like and what it will mean for their futures. Now that you actually know, it makes sense to revisit that first decision and actually decide whether or not to finish your PhD (rather than just assume it’s a given).

Actively choosing to stay or go—rather than jumping through the hoops because you don’t know what else to do—gives you back the power that graduate school often sucks right out of you.

In this month’s Ideas on Fire webinar, Dr. Kate Drabinski shares how to face these big decisions, weigh options, and figure out what to do with yourself once you decide to finish or not.

Deciding Whether to Finish Your PhD


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