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Post Graduation Plans Confusion

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by avatar LisforLeslie 6 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #689477 Reply

    I’m going to be leaving the US for 10 months this coming September to get a Masters degree in the UK and while I have wanted to do this for years I am heartbroken to leave my girlfriend behind. We plan to get married eventually but she has a few more years of undergrad left. We are both firmly in this relationship for the long haul. Our original plan was to have me start my PhD right after I finish my Masters in fall 2018 but I don’t think I can stand to be apart from her until she finishes school in 2020 and joins me wherever my program is. This leaves me few options. I can start the PhD anyway and try to work through being apart, I can put off applying until she is done with school (work nearby until then) and we can relocate together, or I can try my best to get into the one local program near her (a good PhD program I was already interested in). Or some mixture of waiting and applying.

    Being apart for this coming year already has me teary and preemptively sad, I can’t imagine having to wait until late 2020 to be together regularly again. I’m looking for practical advice about the situation because while I want to start my PhD as soon as possible I know I want to marry this woman and that it would hurt us both if we were apart for longer than absolutely necessary.

    #689481 Reply

    If there is a good PhD program near her school, which you’ve wanted to go to, then that is the answer. If you can’t get into that program, Master’s degree in hand, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate the PhD goal. Depending upon your field, a PhD from a not-great program may not be worth the time you would put into it. The competition for academic jobs just keeps getting tougher and you can work in many fields, outside the academic world, with less than a doctorate. Get your mind in order, work hard on your Master’s degree and wow the university near your gf. If they don’t accept her, then you can get a job near her school, take courses part-time and consider pursuing your doctorate in whatever location you and she move to after her graduation. So… stop moping, your job is to wow the university near her based on your work over the next year plus. Really, it’s not all downside. Not everyone is best suited going straight through to a doctorate. Getting some real-world work experience is a plus. You’re acting like a snowflake at the moment.

    #689498 Reply

    It’s ten months only. There is Skpye, email, air travel and even old fashioned letters and packages to keep the romance and intimacy alive. If your relationship is as stronge as you say then it can survive the short time away. Then once you’re back, then find a post nearby each other. It can work as basis of the relationship was built before long distance was a thing.

    #689524 Reply

    You’re only going for your masters right now. Keep your plan to do this in the UK and figure out as it comes time to apply to your PhD where you want to go.

    Lots of factors could have changed by then. You fall in love with the UK, the original program lost accreditation, your gf decides to move to be with you. Lots of unknowns. Just keep all your options open but right now you need to finish your masters.

    #689592 Reply

    If this is the right program for your long term goals then don’t derail it for your gf. 10 months is not a long time – the first few months will be difficult and then it will get better and then it will get worse and then it will get better again. If you derail your plans, regardless of whether your relationship works out, you will always question whether things would be different had you pursued your degree in the UK.

    If you’re in it for the long haul then work together to figure out how to stay connected and supportive. It can be done. It’s been done without phones, email, skype, texting, instagram, facebook etc. so I’m sure you guys can find a way.

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