Regrets about not going into academia?

Watch
Deadbeatauditor
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
Hey guys

So I'm just having massive career doubts atm. I graduated from Cambridge in NatSci last summer, with a 2.2. The 2.2 was because I got super depressed and suicidal in second year. I then spent third year struggling to recover from that/caring more about staying happy than grades. I didn't undertake a lab research project because I thought I hated labs and I wanted a career in public policy anyway.

Fast forward a year and bit, and I'm feeling lucky to be employed in this economy and I'm kind of enjoying my studies/work. I'm going for chartered accountancy, doing my ACA at a pretty good place (beating big 4 these days), but I have these major regrets about not going into academia. I feel like I've massively wasted my degree and time at university, and that I should have given science another chance. I know with a 2.2 and without a masters I would have 0 chance of getting a funded place but I just can't help wondering! It seems anyone I was close to at university has gone on to do a PhD

Anyone else in this situation?
0
reply
kimchiU2
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
I'm in a similar ish situation in terms of grades and what seems to have happened in the second year but I took a year out and came back for the third year. I'm hoping to do better this time round. I received advice from my tutor who said that if you don't take a lab project in the third year then do a masters with a large components being the lab project (forgot the number of credits but about 6 months long). Msc/mres, msc shouldn't be 100% taught, but mres is a better bet. Another option is to go into industry (this is probably hard without experience, I'm guessing) I was really lost and still am but there is a way
2
reply
Deadbeatauditor
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#3
(Original post by kimchiU2)
I'm in a similar ish situation in terms of grades and what seems to have happened in the second year but I took a year out and came back for the third year. I'm hoping to do better this time round. I received advice from my tutor who said that if you don't take a lab project in the third year then do a masters with a large components being the lab project (forgot the number of credits but about 6 months long). Msc/mres, msc shouldn't be 100% taught, but mres is a better bet. Another option is to go into industry (this is probably hard without experience, I'm guessing) I was really lost and still am but there is a way
I'm glad you took the year out, I hope you feel better too. I was too scared to intermit, I hated the idea of being home for a year and not receiving any student finance. I was also too proud to admit I had a problem. My tutor did ask though. I really hope your third year goes well!
0
reply
gutenberg
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 month ago
#4
I can imagine it's tough when it seems like all your friends have gone down a particular route, compounded by a sense of not having got the most from your time at university. If you're currently happy with your work/life and your mental health is stable, then the way forward may be developing a way to cope with those feelings of regret, which do diminish over time as new opportunities and experiences open up. I also wouldn't under-estimate the sheer slog of doing any kind of research at a high level, the precarity and general crappiness of academia at the moment, and the strain it can all put on your mental health (so many academics/PhD students have significant issues), and if your priority is staying well and happy then I'd think very seriously.

Having said all of that, if you are seriously considering it then perhaps a master's first would be a way to test the waters. If you ultimately decide not to pursue the PhD, then you will have acquired some experience (and another qualification) that may allow you to move into careers in research/industry for example.
0
reply
Deadbeatauditor
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#5
(Original post by gutenberg)
I can imagine it's tough when it seems like all your friends have gone down a particular route, compounded by a sense of not having got the most from your time at university. If you're currently happy with your work/life and your mental health is stable, then the way forward may be developing a way to cope with those feelings of regret, which do diminish over time as new opportunities and experiences open up. I also wouldn't under-estimate the sheer slog of doing any kind of research at a high level, the precarity and general crappiness of academia at the moment, and the strain it can all put on your mental health (so many academics/PhD students have significant issues), and if your priority is staying well and happy then I'd think very seriously.

Having said all of that, if you are seriously considering it then perhaps a master's first would be a way to test the waters. If you ultimately decide not to pursue the PhD, then you will have acquired some experience (and another qualification) that may allow you to move into careers in research/industry for example.
Thanks for your reply! I appreciate it. I'm a victim to overthinking and regretting definitely. It may be just worth me sticking out for another two years and getting this current qualification under the belt, then deciding where I want to go. At least that way I'll have a good backup if things were to go downhill. I agree academia is probably not the best at the moment, it may be best to wait it out and see how things go.

Thank you again 😊
0
reply
mnot
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 month ago
#6
(Original post by Deadbeatauditor)
Hey guys

So I'm just having massive career doubts atm. I graduated from Cambridge in NatSci last summer, with a 2.2. The 2.2 was because I got super depressed and suicidal in second year. I then spent third year struggling to recover from that/caring more about staying happy than grades. I didn't undertake a lab research project because I thought I hated labs and I wanted a career in public policy anyway.

Fast forward a year and bit, and I'm feeling lucky to be employed in this economy and I'm kind of enjoying my studies/work. I'm going for chartered accountancy, doing my ACA at a pretty good place (beating big 4 these days), but I have these major regrets about not going into academia. I feel like I've massively wasted my degree and time at university, and that I should have given science another chance. I know with a 2.2 and without a masters I would have 0 chance of getting a funded place but I just can't help wondering! It seems anyone I was close to at university has gone on to do a PhD

Anyone else in this situation?
TBH science is hard work, long hours for not much money. You have to LOVE it to do it.
Also you can always get your ACA then look at options.

For example:
What if you did an MSc or MPhil, now this might be hard with a 2.2 but from Cambridge and mitigating factors (get a doctors note...) you should be able to get onto a decent masters.
But if you do the masters dont mess about get a distinction. Prove yourself. Then you can apply for a PhD.

If your willing to work for it then its still possible. Whilst most STEM PhDs tend to follow on straight after a masters or undergrad its not the only way.
1
reply
gutenberg
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 month ago
#7
(Original post by Deadbeatauditor)
Thanks for your reply! I appreciate it. I'm a victim to overthinking and regretting definitely. It may be just worth me sticking out for another two years and getting this current qualification under the belt, then deciding where I want to go. At least that way I'll have a good backup if things were to go downhill. I agree academia is probably not the best at the moment, it may be best to wait it out and see how things go.

Thank you again 😊
Getting your current qualification seems sensible, as it's at least something you could fall back on in the future. Given the uncertainties worldwide at the moment, having a decent job that also doesn't throw off your mental health is doubly precious, so I would stick with it until you get the qualification, then reassess both where you and the wider world, including academia, is by then and go from there.
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Are you travelling in the Uni student travel window (3-9 Dec) to go home for Christmas?

Yes (120)
28.3%
No - I have already returned home (57)
13.44%
No - I plan on travelling outside these dates (83)
19.58%
No - I'm staying at my term time address over Christmas (40)
9.43%
No - I live at home during term anyway (124)
29.25%

Watched Threads

View All