I’ve decided that graduate school is not for me. It took about two years of being demoralized and losing passion for working in science, but the final nail in the coffin was that even people who are successful and have ‘made it’ through the path I’d want to follow, seem to feel that the entire field is broken, and are constantly unhappy and complaining, and their greatest joys are from outside of science.
If the field I’m so passionate in is so broken that the most talented people can’t find excitement within that system anymore, I don’t want anything to do with it.
Its also becoming increasingly obvious that there is a better way to do this. Making a scientific company is not a cheap enterprise. However, creating an income-generating company on par with most scientific grants is far, far easier than it is to actually secure those grants in the first place. If you want to make truly strong scientific endeavors, escape from the limitations that are imposed by a bloated and exploitative academic system, I think this is the solution. Elon Musk showed a strong example, make your ultra-efficient startups fund your scientific mission.
I don’t want to spend the next 20 years of my life working 12-16 hour days on other people’s projects, getting them grants, to maybe have an underfunded lab of my own in my 40s. You don’t need a Ph.D. to do good science, and you don’t have to get money the same ways to fund it.
It took me most of college to realize that I couldn’t handle that lifestyle, that I needed more control over my own future. Becoming a scientist had been my dream for my entire life, I felt a Ph.D. was necessary. Its time that I did things my own way, after all, everyone else did it wrong.