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CharlieR

When you don't feel home

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Hey everyone !

 

I started my PhD in the fall, in the only university that accepted me. I don't feel home at all.

Campus is ugly, I don't have friends, I don't like the city or my living situation and I barely make enough to live comfortably. On top of all the work, this has left me really depressed and I don't know what to do. I feel like I made a mistake coming here, although the courses are interesting and I like the academics. I don't know why but the idea of spending most of my 20s in this place just completely tears me down. I find no beauty in where I am and as a result I am creativly discharged and I'm losing motivation.

Any similar experiences ?

 

Thanks !

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On 2/4/2019 at 8:45 PM, CharlieR said:

Hey everyone !

 

I started my PhD in the fall, in the only university that accepted me. I don't feel home at all.

Campus is ugly, I don't have friends, I don't like the city or my living situation and I barely make enough to live comfortably. On top of all the work, this has left me really depressed and I don't know what to do. I feel like I made a mistake coming here, although the courses are interesting and I like the academics. I don't know why but the idea of spending most of my 20s in this place just completely tears me down. I find no beauty in where I am and as a result I am creativly discharged and I'm losing motivation.

Any similar experiences ?

 

Thanks !

Hey @CharlieR I experienced this exact thing in my master's and, like you, it left me depressed and unsure.

First, and foremost, because you are on a university campus, you should have access to mental health services. I highly recommend that you get in touch with them and see what they can do for you. Having a professional able to counsel you is important.

I would suggest that you think of these three choices, 1) to stay and adjust, 2) to transfer, or 3) to quit.

As you said, you started in the fall, and sometimes it can take time to adjust. If you cannot find ways to adjust, I would recommend a transfer - especially if you still want to complete a PhD. But, if you think doctoral studies is not really for you, and you don't think you can find ways to deal with the issues causing it (as you said, spending your 20's at your current institution), I would simply recommend quiting. Your happiness and enjoyment in life is important, especially during this crucial period of youth. You can always come back later, it doesn't mean that it's permanently over.

A final option might be to request a hiatus so that you can deal with and confront issues bringing dissatisfaction to your life. You may find it has less to do with the university and the campus, and more to do with areas that you aren't able to address being a full-time student.

Hope that helps!

Edited by pmcol

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I would strongly second the advice to seek out the mental health services on campus. These are usually free. You can explore your depression and the reasons why you are unhappy. This can give you more clarity into making whatever choice you feel is best. 

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Are there other ways you could find beauty on your campus? Is there a performing arts center where you could go see live theater or concerts? Are there art displays or venues around that have live music? Maybe you could even try to make some of your own beauty by auditing a visual arts course; I myself am a historian auditing a course in ancient to Medieval calligraphy this semester, and it's a no pressure creative time for me. 

Good luck! Keep us posted!

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