Bear247 Posted August 18, 2014 Share Posted August 18, 2014 My adviser and I don't have the best relationship. He isn't a tyrant and he's never done anything unethical, unprofessional, or something of poor faculty/researcher character. But, he is neither my mentor nor my friend. He's my thesis adviser, and that's it. I've read enough about grad school from this site, other blogs, and articles to know that being a mentor/friend to his students isn't in the job description nor a requirement for getting more funding. I've had thoughts of quitting the lab for about a year now. They've faded in and out depending on how work has been going and how well my adviser and I are getting along. When I started thinking I should just get the masters and leave, I scheduled a meeting with him. It was scheduled for right after my weekly meeting with him. This 'one hour' meeting turned into 30 seconds of him telling me not to freak out or rush any decision. Let things play out, defend my masters thesis if need be, and go from there. Cross that bridge when we get there. I was not given the chance to respond or ask questions. About a month later, when he was on sabbatical, I decided to email him with an update of where I was at. I told him I would update him once a month on my status, how I was feeling, and what I think could be done about it. This email was about one page worth if it was in Word, Times 12 font. His entire response: "Thanks [my name]." I spoke with a few more senior students in the lab about this response as I was confused that he didn't have more to say. The two main theories the older PhD students had was that either he didn't have the time to actually respond or he doesn't care that I'm thinking about quitting. After this, I felt so awkward about telling him more about how I felt. His concept of professionalism and professional relationships is almost completely void of being personal. He's not one to hold his student's hand on anything, but I would think one of his students telling him they don't want to work with him anymore would be pretty alarming. If you don't have time for a student who's thinking of dropping out, what do you have time for? I haven't made a final decision, but I'm pretty sure I'll be quitting the program by this December. I guess what I'm looking for writing this post is: Is this common in your experience? Has this ever happened to you? With you or someone you know who's dropped out of a PhD program, what was the PI's response and how did they handle the situation? Do professors care if they lose a student or do they just not have the time/care to deal with it when it comes up? I welcome any thoughts, theories, and ideas on any of the above. Thank you for your time. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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