Musings, Updates

That’s it. I Quit.

So… I’m not… really sure where to even start with this post…

I guess I’ll just start with the simplest, most basic, easily understandable aspect of this post:

I’m quitting.

Please don’t misunderstand me in thinking that this was an easy decision to make. I have spent months pondering it, discussing it with a variety of people – friends, family, random people I meet in work and online – because this is a big deal. It will change my life. But… at the end of the day, I just… I have to do this. I have to quit. I have to make time for me and focus on what’s good for myself (and my pup), and right now I just… haven’t had the time to devote to either of us and it’s been noticeable. So… after enough consideration to drive a normal person sane…

I have decided to quit.

Grad School



WHAAAAAT?! I know, crazy, right?
(And I really hope I got some of you thinking I meant blogging. hahahaha!)
Yes, I’m evil. 😈 

I mean, many of you know have followed my blog for a while and know how long I’ve been working on this (two years, two states, two grad schools, and EIGHT laboratories later). I’ve hit every possible hiccup, pothole, and wrong turn imaginable and I still was determined to do it! I mean, what was the point in quitting at just a single problem? I had gone through so much already, how could anything really be bad enough to keep me from finishing? I’m nothing if not resilient, stubborn, and determined! (I actually took a resilience test that said I rank 90% in being proactive when shit hits the fan. 😎)

But I cave.

And before you go about judging me and telling me I’m a whiny, little, spoiled bitch who needs to toughen up and not throw away all that I worked for, let me stop you right there. This was not a split second decision. This was actually something I have been struggling with since before I started graduate school the second time. I’ve been concerned about whether grad school was right for me for months! And I have literally broken down in TEARS over this decision because I KNOW what a huge opportunity I am throwing away and how much this decision is going to change my life.

But also, if you’re judging me, go fuck yourself.
My life. My decisions.

I would much rather throw away everything I have spent the last 8 years of my life working towards for the chance to be happy and sane and healthy than continuing on a path that has led MANY a young adult into therapy and requiring medication just to remain mentally stable. Thanks, but I care more about my life than that.

And I realized that the only reason I had gone to get my PhD in the first place was because:

a) I couldn’t get a job with just a bachelor’s in genetics.

b) I thought it was what I wasΒ supposed to do.

I literally had and still have NOΒ interest in getting a PhD. I don’t want it and I would much rather step aside and make room for someone else to follow their dreams and make a difference than be selfish or ambitious or whatever when I know I don’t have good reasons for being there.

So yeah. That’s my tirade for the day. I quit. I take my last final exam on Wednesday, May 2nd and then I’m done! And I’ll be moving back into the workforce like a normal adult. πŸ˜›

P.s. I am actually hoping to have time once I’m done to get back into Youtubing and I plan to make a series regarding my experience at grad school and how students can better prepare themselves so they don’t go through what I went through.


25 thoughts on “That’s it. I Quit.”

  1. I can definitely relate to this! Almost three years ago, now, I made the decision to drop out of grad school (and I also wrote an announcement post for it, if you want to take a gander: and you’re right, that is a really hard decision to make. But you’re also right that, at the end of the day, only YOU can make that decision and know with confidence if that’s the right decision for you. Sure, you’re going to have days where you wonder what life would be life if you stuck with it, but so far, even through all the difficulty and the bouts of doubt and judgement experienced after making that choice, for me, it ended up being the right one. And based off your post here, I believe it is the right choice for you to make, too. I’m rooting for you and proud of you for having the courage to put your happiness first now, which isn’t the easiest thing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words and support, Nicole. I think I knew this was the right decision and was my final decision when I said it aloud and felt not joy, or excitement, or apprehension, but relief. That was how much of a toll just 2 years had taken on me. And that is not what following your dreams is supposed to feel like so now I just need to focus on what I think my dreams are even if they are lofty as all get out. πŸ˜›

      Hopefully I will have some good news in the next few months/years that will make this whole craziness worth it. We can never truly tell in the moment. We must simply have faith that we are doing what is right. πŸ™‚


      1. Of course! It sounds like you’ve definitely made the right choice. I look forward to reading about the good news in an upcoming blog post, whether it be a couple months from now or a couple of years from now. You’ll get there, I know it!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Like some other commenters, I thought you meant you were quitting blogging! I’m so glad you aren’t because I really enjoy reading your blog.

    Quitting grad school definitely isn’t a decision to make lightly and it sounds like you’ve given it a lot of thought. It sounds like the right decision for you. I’m sure everyone has those moments during their studies that make them want to just throw in the towel, but a lot of people who end up finishing the PhD seem to have a really deep, obsessive passion for the material. And that’s great! Personally, I had too many interests to pursue a PhD. I didn’t want to spend at least 5 years of my life narrowly studying a small subset of history. I like other eras in history and things other than history, like science fiction. πŸ˜‰

    Congrats on making your decisionβ€”it must be a relief to have your last exam ever coming up. Good luck! Keep us updated about your job situation and life in general. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha! Success! I totally wanted to screw with people and I’m happy it worked. πŸ˜› What’s a little news without a joke to go with it?

      You totally understand one of the reasons I decided to quit grad school, Natalie: focus. In science, I’d end up studying a single gene in a pathway of an organism for 6 years and that is WAY too specific for me. I’d also have to give up pretty much all of my hobbies to do so and that’s just not me. I love experiencing a wide variety of things and learning as much as I can about everything. Grad school is simply too narrow for some of us adventurous minds. πŸ™‚

      Thank you for your kind words and support, Natalie. πŸ™‚ I will definitely keep you posted on how my insane life progresses over the next few months. Here’s hoping everything works out! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely enjoyed the joke, so props to you for fooling us! πŸ˜‰

        I’m sure it’ll all work out… I ended up doing a short masters program because I wanted to work in a specific field and no one was willing to hire me without a degree. But that’s okay, because the degree was definitely helpful and though it was stressful at the time, in retrospect I’m glad I did it. Good luck with everything!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahahaha! πŸ™‚

          Hey! That’s awesome, Natalie. Some times degrees are very important for what you want to do and for other jobs, not so much. πŸ™‚ It’s all a matter of doing what’s best for you.

          And thank you! I hope you’re doing well!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to admit, at first I was worried that you meant blogging.
    I am (perhaps selfishly) relieved that “that” is not the case.

    I also think this is a very personal decision, and not one anyone else should attempt to label as “wrong”.
    I think you’re right. Many follow these “paths” under the theory that “everyone should” or “I’m supposed to”, and it’s rather regrettable.
    And even if it is a mistake, there’s nothing wrong with that. I think we have a very bad attitude towards “mistakes”, which are actually an essential part of the learning process.
    In any case, I’m glad you felt comfortable making this choice, and hope that you find the future to be better than the past.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahahaha! YAS! Another person dooped into thinking I meant my blog. πŸ˜‰ What can I say? I love to tease all of you guys. Makes blogging fun. πŸ˜› And it’s also great to hear so many people are relieved I don’t mean my blog. πŸ™‚

      Yes, I think too many people see mistakes as bad, as wrong, as completely avoidable and that’s just not a reality, especially given how flawed humans are by nature. I don’t regret trying out grad school (twice). Would I love to have those two years back? Absolutely! Did I learn new things and grow as a person during those two wasted years? YES! I needed to throw myself into that stressful, chaotic situation to realize that I want NOTHING to do with it. Hahahahaha! Otherwise I never would have known and very well might look back and regret never trying. πŸ™‚

      Thank you very much, Adam. πŸ™‚ There are always going to be ups and downs to everything. We just have to remember to persevere and make adjustments when necessary.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well yes you had me there! Now no judging from my side as I think we don’t know what a person experiences as we don’t live her or his life. You are a grown up woman and you know what’s best for you! I wish you luck!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hee hee! I had to tease everyone a little bit. It’s just… who I am. πŸ˜› Hope you don’t hate me for that even if you’re not judging me for my decision. πŸ˜‰

      Thank you so much, Sophie! πŸ˜€ (Though… I definitely don’t know if I know exactly what’s best for me. Still figuring half this adulting out. πŸ˜› )


  5. In today’s ultra competitive world some people forget that we just have one life to live. We have to take time to be happy and be who we are because we don’t get a second chance. So good for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, Trent. That realization was definitely a defining factor in my decision to leave graduate school. It was a huge decision for sure and a scary one, but ever since admitting it, I have felt a weight lift off my shoulders and a desire to do things I once had a passion for. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So, I guess congratulations on this big decision for your life. Grad school is tough, and I was there studying library science; I can’t imagine what it is like studying in an actual scientific field. And hey, in the past 6.5 years I have started to regret my decision to go to college and then grad school because finding a job is so difficult. Right now I work in a factory that builds laundry dryers, and you only need a high school diploma or GED to work there. I have all this massive student loan debt that keeps growing instead of shrinking. Seeing everything that has happened it makes me wish I had just joined the workforce after high school…and this is from someone who genuinely loves going to school and learning. So, good for you making a decision to give yourself more attention and more time. I hope you manage to get back to your YouTubing, and whatever other fun things you want to do now that you are leaving grad school.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Danielle. I have heard of quite a few people getting advanced degrees only to find out they are over-qualified for positions and are still unable to find work like everyone else. Plus, an advanced degree is intended for people who REALLY want to specialize in something. I… kind of like doing everything. πŸ˜› So, it’s hard for me to imagine devoting 6 years of my life to just one thing.

      I don’t regret looking into it (twice) because I needed to find out what it was like and realize that it wasn’t for me. That was important and will likely define where I go now with my life. And it’s also taught me what I find to be most important in life. πŸ™‚

      I just wish everyone had the same opportunity to have this epiphany: happiness and health really are two of the most important things. Without them, what is life?

      Thank you for sharing your story and I hope you can find a way to salvage the time you spent in school. It’s never too late to change where you are or what you are doing. We just have to understand that difficult doesn’t mean impossible. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

          1. And now my resume includes my book blog, especially since I do ARC reviews for publishers, authors, etc. I would think those could be helpful connections for setting up book events at the library as well. Something will turn up eventually.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Melanie,

    Not sure about anyone else, but I can’t open this page! Getting me worried as I’ve only read the first bit…I’m leaving…what? America? WordPress? The county you live in? The world of authors?!!

    can’t find it anywhere on your blog site….are you still writing??!! 😨

    On Sat, Aug 26, 2017 at 1:04 PM, MNBernard Books wrote:

    > Melanie Noell Bernard posted: “So… I’m not really even sure where to > start with this post. … … I guess I’ll start with the most basic way of > stating this that I possibly can… I’m leaving. I mean, leaving is a > really big decision (obviously) and it’s something I’ve given” >


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