To Fresh Woods

“At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue:
Tomorrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.”
– John Milton, Lycidas

Unfortunately, I don’t have a mantle blue, but I did, until recently, have a PhD to do. Those who are unfortunate enough to be my friends on Facebook or in real life will know that recently I withdrew from my PhD. Yeah. That thing that I’ve spent three years of my life trying to do. It wasn’t an easy decision; there were numerous factors involved. As you’ve hopefully been enjoying, quite a lot of my focus has been on writing for the blog, and writing in general. That was part of it – my focus was elsewhere not just because I enjoy writing more than anything in the world (which I do), but because I had lost interest in the research.

That’s a difficult thing. any research degree is essentially self-motivating; if you can’t find it within you to enjoy what you;re doing you just made your job 100 times harder. If you lose all interest completely then that’s pretty much game over. I hadn’t lost all interest – it’s still fascinating, but I’d been pushed out of love with it for various reasons. Too many administrative difficulties, too little feedback, too many texts in languages I can’t read (and even if I learnt I’d still not know it well enough to read the documents I’d need to).

But that’s all irrelevant. I don’t want to spend a great deal of time talking about why I stopped doing the PhD. What I want to say is that I’m still going to be here, still going to be updating, and that difficult as it has been I’m going to be pushing past that in the next few months.

Also, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who supported me throughout the PhD and through this difficult time, particularly my parents.

When was the last time you had to make a life changing decision? How did affect you and are you glad you made it now?

Comments
2 Responses to “To Fresh Woods”
  1. I withdrew from a PhD program as well – I was far more interested in the methodology than the topic and no matter how hard I tried to get into the content there was always something else I wanted to write more. It was a good decision and I don’t regret it. I hope yours turns out to be the same.

    • Nick says:

      I know that feeling – it’s hard to stop yourself from being distracted when you love something else! But I’m glad that the decision turned out for the best, and I’m sure it will for me too.

      Thanks for commenting,
      Nick

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