January 28, 2013 3:49 PM Subscribe
Everyone says "get out while you can!" RE: Ph.D.s in the humanities. But really, what else can I do? Difficulty level: somewhat debilitating emotional dysregulation & student debt. Snowflakes inside.
posted by munyeca to Work & Money (17 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I have a B.A. and an M.A. in English, both from great institutions. My oral exams are coming up in a few months. I hate what I am doing. Other skills? A tiny bit of experience at literary magazines, a good deal of administrative experience (now all in the distant past).
Reasons I haven't left: I have $40,000 in student debt that is happily in forbearance for my entire Ph.D. If I left, I would immediately need a (somewhat lucrative) job. I've already used the 6 months of "free" forbearance or whatever that is. I have enough in savings to live in my city for maybe one month.
I also have pretty poor job-having skills, insofar as my emotional dysregulation problems are intermittently pretty rough. (My symptoms haven't responded very well to any of the medicines I've tried with my very smart, wonderful psychiatrist, but we keep tweaking and tweaking. For the record, am in regular (CBT) therapy, have done a DBT skills workshop, do yoga and meditate, etc.). In short, there are many days when I feel too anxious/sad to get anything done. In grad school, this is sort of acceptable behavior! In real jobs, I don't think it is!
So, really, what am I even capable of doing?
tl;dr What does one do with limited practical skills, massive student debt, and little ability to show up for work, if work is somewhere you have to actually physically be?