Hello there. It’s been a while, as usual, despite my intentions. Just thought I’d at least drop in to update you on my situation regarding my PhD. I quit, a little over a month ago. Too many problems to handle - from not getting enough support during my PhD (even though I addressed the relevant persons on all levels about this several times…) to the ongoing family dramas I’ve alluded to and mentioned before. I was actually pretty close to the end of my PhD it seemed, in that all I was doing now was pretty much writing up, but turns out I couldn’t hack coping with the environment I’m in again any more. So it’s a shame, I feel quite bummed out, and pretty much every day I’ve felt like bursting into tears, but crying is something I don’t seem able to do any more (pretty sure this is psychosomatic as that seems more likely than physiologically being unable to cry…I think?), so I just carry it with me and am constantly feeling on edge.
That said, quitting seemed to be the most pragmatic outcome in a way. My though process was pretty much: “I need to get out of this environment, but I have no financial means of doing so, so I need a job for financial income, but I can’t get a job until I finish my thesis, so I need to finish my thesis, but I can’t focus on my thesis with all the stuff going on around me here, so I should try to focus on resolving those problems first, but I’ve been trying that for most of my life and nobody here seems to actually listen, so I need to get out of this environment…” and it just seemed to a vicious cycle that dragged on. So I had to compromise the thing I actually really wanted to do - a PhD - for a long portion of my Life (this is in the version of my Life I entertain/hope for where I don’t commit suicide, in case you’re wondering about inconsistencies). Though compromise is not foreign to me, of course (that’s not to say I’ve always compromised, or even compromised the most compared to others, or anything like that at all. Just relegating my stuff to the back-seat or even chucking it out of the car altogether is something I’m familiar with and almost ‘normalised’ for me.
But yes, one of the ‘lighter’ questions this leaves me with is: Am I no longer able to consider myself a scientist? Without any publications that have gone through peer-review, I don’t have any official credit to my name in that respect. To be frank, I didn’t really call myself a scientist before anyway, as I figured that’s a title/right I earn after submitting and passing my thesis and viva. “The Dark Scientist”, my blog title, was meant more as a light-hearted joke with some relevance to me doing a PhD, but at the same time was intended to be qualified once I’d completed my PhD. So now that I’m not doing a PhD and have no research published to my name (yet? Not sure…), is my blog title slightly fraudulent and requires a change?
Still thinking this one over…