I've seen a lot of posts on here where someone is in a PhD programme, and they're very stressed and unhappy, and want to know if they should quit. Typically, there are a number of complicating factors, such as: They're away from home, and haven't made any friends yet AND they suffer from depression or panic attacks or some other mental health problem AND there's a sick relative or some other family situation that they're stressed about AND they're worried about money...
Usually these questions are closed because they aren't a good fit for our Q&A format. However, I think we could offer some useful general answers to a canonical question. E.g., address the mental health issue before making any big decisions, if possible; maybe see the student counselor; think about YOUR goals rather than just trying to please parents/advisors; realise that a PhD programme is very different than anything you've likely done before, so don't expect to feel comfortable in it for the first N months; try to think about each problem in isolation; consider a leave of absence; etc.
Here are some examples of the type of questions I'm talking about.
- I want to quit PhD after 4 months. Should I?
- Leave of Absence from PHD
- Should I quit my PhD - workload, self-esteem and social life
- My PhD situation is giving me anxiety attacks. Is quitting (and losing 2 years) my only option?
- Is feeling lonely and uncomfortable in my (foreign) country of study a valid reason to drop out of a PhD?
- I am currently debating whether to leave my PhD program- any advice
I've created the question and provided an answer: Should I quit my PhD? Additional answers are welcome.