Help me understand the consequences of dropping out of grad school.
1. 28 years old. I do not yet have a masters or PhD, even after 4 years, a Master's is about a year off. Coursework is done for an MS.
1a. My department is deeply fragmented, political, and dysfunctional, and I have been used as a political pawn more than once. I have been staff in other departments where this is not the case.
2. My program promised a degree in neuroscience, but it will, in fact, be Psychology. I learned this in year 2.
3. I am not a Psychologist and would never
represent myself as one. Rather, I would like to be an engineer working on optical systems, but my math is withered from a background in the humanities.Put myself through Calc 1. Working on 2. Meagre programming abilities.
4. My interest and skills are all technical - optics, cameras, and displays. I spend every last dime and free hour on this stuff, obsessively. I apply what I've learned studying vision.
5. The building I work in is unsafe, it recently partially collapsed. My office was destroyed. I am working in an equipment storage area. This is better than my very first office, which was destroyed by a sewage leak instead of a building collapse.
6. I hate where I live. There is about to be a major flood for the second year in a row. My stipend is not nearly enough to survive. My last health issue caused me to lose my apartment. I am constantly scrounging for money.
7. My university is hostile to my outside activities/projects which are lauded at other universities (I'm giving three talks this month alone).
8. I have no debt, children, or strings to speak of. Just a lot of equipment and a lot of anger that is ruining my mental health.
9. The best possible outcome to my situation seems to be a degree in a field I don't respect and which I will never
participate in again.
10. My research in this field is not meaningful and does not make much of a contribution.
My questions, in order of importance:
What are the short and long-term consequences of dropping out?
How will this affect my entrance into future graduate programs (if I pursue any)?
What kind of jobs or paths will I exclude myself from (aside from academic jobs)? Would they have been available with a degree in Psych?
Any other advice would be much appreciated.
I've read _everything_ with the tag "gradschool
", including the question that got me in 4 years ago
.. There is a small chance I will not drop out -- I haven't yet -- but it is vanishingly small.