But academia doesn't work that way, and the longer you are seeking the big degree, the more you will doubt yourself and your future. The job market is hopeless, the advice blogs terrifying, and your committee is too self-involved to see reality. Just step away from it. You're not alone. You'll never be. Play Let It Be or Nevermind. Then you'll see the bright white beautiful heaven hanging over you, with no advisor notes or publication deadlines or student loans due.
CMers: How would you answer this letter that appeared on Salon.com?
I was wondering if you could please help me. I’m 38, and in my (hopefully) last year of a science Ph.D. program. (I worked for a few years between undergraduate and grad school.)
I sometimes think that I don’t really have parents, although they are alive. My mom is mentally ill, and my dad divorced her and is doing his own thing. My dad and grandmother gave me a few thousand dollars of financial support this year, because I don’t have time for a second job outside of school as I finish my last year. I also got a loan. I have always had either two or three jobs otherwise. I will repay them, next year, but otherwise, my parents do not provide any sort of mentorship, guidance or support. My dad actually takes quite a lot more than he gives.