Why I Dropped Out Of Graduate School

Why I Dropped Out Of Graduate School | KeatingBartlett.com

This past week, I made a rather large decision: I dropped out of graduate school. This wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly. In fact, I’ve been going back and forth with it since I began my program last August. But after a lot of tears, stressful nights, and a million talks with Zack, friends and family, I finally decided it was time to bite the bullet. So I emailed my advisor last week and withdrew from my courses.

So why did I decide to drop out of my graduate program?

Well, my brain and heart just weren’t into it anymore. The first term was hard. Very hard. But it was mainly just challenging because Zack returned home from Japan in the first week of classes, we moved cross-country and then I found out I was pregnant. Life was crazy to say the least. So I forgave myself for failing my only course and decided to try again the next term.

The next term was much better. I completed the term with a B and an A which was much better than the F in my first term. The third term was good as well even though it overlapped with Allie’s due date. I re-took my course from the first term and added an easy elective and got A’s in both! And then there’s this most recent term. I couldn’t even tell you who my professors were, what the classes were called, or what I was even supposed to be learning. All I knew was that I was taking SPT 601 and SPT 501. That’s it. My brain and heart just weren’t into it whatsoever.

Now I know what you’re thinking. I’m just overwhelmed and need a semester off. Which is totally understandable considering I just had a baby a couple months ago. And yes, to some degree I was a bit overwhelmed. But honestly I’m just not sure I even want a masters degree at all. At this point, it feels like so much more than just being too busy for it. I simply have zero interest in even attempting to make my degree happen right now. And if you know me, you know that if I want something bad enough then I’m going to make it happen no matter what else I have going on. Always have, and always will. And I just haven’t been doing that with this degree. So how do you know when it’s time to quit?

Well, rather than doing my coursework, I spent my days and nights cuddling my daughter or typing up blog posts. I spent my time at the gym or continuing Jack’s training. I cleaned the house or took an extra long shower. School has been the furthest thing from my mind and was never put on any to do list I ever created. It was literally stressful just thinking about the coursework I had to do. It felt like a chore.

By week four of my classes, I had maybe submitted one assignment in each class. One. The number of zeros I had was insane. Normally this would make me feel super guilty for neglecting my responsibilities. But the fact that I felt zero guilt for not doing the work or responding to my professors emails is what told me that it was time to quit.

As depressing and disappointing as it is, it was just time. While I’d like to believe I’m Superwoman and can handle anything life throws at me, sometimes I just can’t. And that’s okay. I’m human. I shouldn’t be expected to handle it all flawlessly: a newborn, my blog, my certification program, my degree, my marriage, my health. It’s a lot for a normal human being. And the fact that I’ve even been able to balance a good majority of these with minimal issues is pretty impressive if you ask me.

So what’s next for me?

Well, for now my main focus is our daughter and finding ways to be home with her for as long as possible whether that’s a few months or a few years. So that means this blog is going to be getting a lot more attention as I continue to grow it and turn it back into my full-time income. I’m also still very focused on becoming an ACE Certified Personal Trainer so I’m going to be continuing that as well. And lastly, I decided to sign up for Beachbody this month! I’m focusing a lot on my health and wellbeing right now so I’m testing it out this month and am hoping to become a coach in August! I want my life to revolve around my health and my family so I’m super excited to clear my schedule and my brain in order to focus on what matters most to me right now.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever go back and complete my degree. I’m kind of just going to play that by ear. But for now, I’m happy and already feeling so much less stressed out. I’m excited to move forward and see what the rest of the year has in store for me and our little family.

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  • I completely understand your decision to drop out of the masters program. It’s a hard choice to come to and accept but I’m sure you made the right choice for yourself. I made the same hard decision last year too. Sometimes I bounce back and forth thinking about if I should go back but for now I’m not sure.