grad student burnout

  1. anybody here in grad school or was before? how did you survive?!

    i'm burning out. i've lost all motivation. :crybaby:boss/mentor is cracking the whip, and the more pressure he gives, the less i work. i feel dumber everyday, it's always two steps forward and one step back. i've been in school for 5+ years now (2 years med school, 3 years research) have NO idea when i'll get my PhD, and i still have 2 years of med school after that to finish. what i dream about every day is quitting and just finding some 9-to-5 job somewhere. or marrying rich and becoming a housewife :yes:.

    but i can't say that to anyone, because everyone who's here is super motivated and LOVES what they do (or at least they all seem like it). so besides tPF, i'm constantly surfing hotjobs, monster, career counseling, ANYTHING other than what i'm doing.

    any advice? how did everyone else cope? when do you know when to give up and head out?
  2. I'm there...4+ years now, hope to be out next year. Yes, I understand the whole situation about adviser cracking the whip asking 'where is this/that' and generally making my life difficult sometimes. I'm not super motivated. I do love what I do, but not to the extent that I love it above and beyond all else. My motivation is something like this graph:


    I'm not giving up and heading out though. I just try to get through it somehow. Marrying the rich guy doesn't work. I tried it once. Fantasizing about 9-5 jobs also doesn't work. After all, many jobs, though maybe better paying don't have as much flexibility of scheduling as academics does (since academics doesn't require that you sit in a cubicle for 40 hours a week), and I want to be an academic.
  3. Not me (yet) but my bf went straight to grad school after finishing his BA and he got SO burned out! took a year off, it was just a break that he greatly needed. He misses the people he got to know from his program as they've graduated already, but since he's more motivated to finish now it was a great thing for him. He's in a PhD program but has actually decided he's stopping after his MA!

    I'm not sure if you have the option, but maybe a semester long break may do some good for you. Or are you going summers too? Maybe take the summer off??
  4. merika, i love your graph. i've seen those comics before, they're quite bitter-funny.

    blue824, there are no such things as summers in my program. we formally get 3 weeks off, but no "really hard-working" post-doc or grad student takes that time off, except for maybe around christmas. literally i worked through thanksgiving and christmas, and half my lab was working right alongside with me...
  5. I'm getting my MBA now, and while its one of the shorter programs I sometimes feel the same way and start looking for other things to do. I just tell myself that in the end it'll be worth it, kind of like my reward for getting there :smile: Education is one of the few things that can't be take from you, as my mother always told me.
  6. :yes::yes::yes:
  7. Merika, that foto you posted was dead on!
  8. omg that is SOOO true. tuesday says catch up on web surfing and I'm here ... hmmm ... :roflmfao: :confused1:

    TRY and hang in there!! I had a horrible day too and had to cry to the BF after class. some BS about not being able to find a job when I'm done. my program is nowhere near as hard as others and I go crazy all the time! since you already had 2 years of med school, was that alright?? you can tell yourself that you're almost done with research soon and can switch over ...
  9. I just started my MBA recently... so I figure by the end of the Fall semester I will be following the graph as shown... :yes: Just as Berlyn mentioned, once its done - no one can take it away from you, so it will be worth it!!

    Full-time jobs are over-rated... I would much rather be in the academic world as long as possible... And trust me, hanging out around the house as a housewife gets pretty boring after a while.... (We just moved for my husband's career, so I'm not working and probably won't be anytime soon, based on the job climate over here....) You're in a good place, just keep pushing!! It will all be worth it!!:tup:
  10. I finished Grad school and I was sooo happy it was overwith. Take the summers off and enjoy time for yourself or family.... You will be happier!!
  11. I read the book "Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning an M.A or a PhD" and it helped immensely.

    Here's the link to it on Amazon:

    I did two master's degrees back to back and it was very hard to escape burnout even with an end-date in sight. Just practice extreme self-care and be as patient with yourself as you can. You can get through this!
  12. every time i wanted to quit, i just motored thru it and soon enough, it was over. i would think about the time i would "waste" by NOT being in class, rather than time i was "wasting" on a class.