By - The_Re_Face
Congrats. I must say you have really good luck, or support system, or both. Most people consider their lives are ruined after they drop out of university the first time. That Masters experience really tops it all off though. Good luck and all the best.
Thank you, I'd say I have an excess of dedication rather than luck, but there's no denying that I had a good family support system. I was able to live at with my folks for about 6 years of university life, they understood the stresses and asked relatively little of me, but wound up taking quite a bit in students loans still.
Congratulations on a wild ride! You should be proud of yourself! I just completed my Masters after a year and half. I was going for a PhD, but I had some problems with COVID and had an unfortunate falling out with my PI. My options going forward are to a) work in industry for a bit before going back to academia, b) go back into academia this coming fall (3 PhD applications pending at new institutions) or c) take some time off entirely and try and hike from Mexico to Canada, and then try and figure out what my career looks like from there. Anyway..you have every right to be very proud of yourself.
Thanks! Its crazy how dramatically a PI can impact several years of your life.
Also, hike from Mexico to Canada? Why is that option 3?
The falling out with the PI was very sudden. Barely two months before I was told to leave her lab by her, she had written me a very nice letter of recommendation for a small grant I was applying for. As for the long hike, I am planning for it actively. However, I am not sure if doing that before working in industry at all is a good idea, since I’ve been in college/grad school for the entirety of my time since graduating high school, and I know I’ll need to find decent work after hiking that long.
That was a long road, but you made it! And that's something to be proud of!
May I ask for a general age indication? I went back to university this September (I'm in my mid-20's) for my Chemistry bachelor and hope to achieve a PhD some day in the future as well! But I'm kinda anxious that a lot of PI's will think I'm too old.
Thanks! I'm mid-30's now. Meaning I started my current stream (biology) at around 25 as well.
No PI's would think you're too old, a decent PI will primarily care about your focus, passion, and aptitude. I found I was far more dedicated/focused with age, which allowed me to excel and get some nice recognitions in my graduate studies. Despite finding a lot of success, I doubted myself all the way until I was well into my Masters. As for age: you'll find a lot of PhD candidates in that age group. This may be school specific, but if you sampled any 10 grad students at my graduate school, at least 2 would have been 35 or older.
If you've found meaningful work in-between, you'd be surprised how many life skills can cross over. Many excellent students have only ever been students and actually have a hard time adjusting to graduate work, as its more like a workplace than undergraduate study.
One tip I have for you, is find an area of study you like, and double down on it. Invest early in understanding (vs memorizing). Memorizing will get you through undergrad but it won't help you long term in research. Good luck!
Thank you, that's some reassuring advice! I already notice the difference between when I was 18 and now in terms of motivation and determination. It's gonna be a long road, still. With probably a lot of obstacles as well, but reading someone else's success story is kind of reassuring, so thank you for sharing!