I’ve spent much of the past month thinking about this decision and much of the past week thinking about how to tell people. I am leaving my PhD program.
I started this program with the intention of following a career path that would significantly benefit from, if not require, the pursuit of such a degree. After not performing as well as desired on my candidacy exam, I was forced to take an introspective look into whether this was really what I wanted or needed. After lengthy discussions with my adviser about what I want to do with my life, a PhD is not necessary. Taking this time to start and build my career is the best thing for me.
While I am nervous about finding a career in biotech that both interests and challenges me, I cannot put into words the relief I feel. I never felt like my knowledge came close to everyone else’s and I constantly feared exposure of my perceived ignorance. Knowing these feelings were due to Imposter’s Syndrome did not alleviate them or the anxiety they caused.
I would like to make one thing clear: nobody at my school or in my program did anything wrong or made me want to leave the school. Everyone who knows about this decision has been supportive and gracious in helping my transition out of the PhD program. I love everyone at GSBS and will miss them terribly, but I am genuinely excited about taking on a (slightly) new career and getting my life started.