To Earn A Ph.D.

The last couple months have really flown by. I spent most nights staying in my office until midnight or later. I’ve been keeping busy with classes, research, and applying to Ph.D. programs. I still haven’t decided if earning a Ph.D. is really what I want, but applying to Ph.D. programs keeps the option available. The decision to stay in academia or reenter the “real world” is not far away, though.

I’ve been on winter break for the last couple weeks. Because I’m doing so many research projects with my advisor, as well as being his TA next term, I had to bring a lot of work home with me. I hate the idea of having to bring work home during a “break.” How am I supposed to enjoy my “time off” if I constantly have to think about work? When I’m hanging out with friends, I feel guilty for not working. I haven’t made plans with a lot of my friends during this break because I feel like I can’t afford the time. I shouldn’t have to feel guilty for not working when I’m on break, right?

Every time I spend time with my friends and family at home, I always reevaluate my path. Does earning a Ph.D. mean that all of my “vacation time” for the next five years will be ruined by having to bring work home every time? The whole point of going back to school for my second master’s was to do what makes me happy. But what kind of happiness will I have if I can’t have a life outside of work too?

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