I'm failing grad school


I'm in my third yr but I've been bearly getting by grad school so far. And today, being notified that I'm failing a grad class, I think I'm almost done with it. I feel like I'll be kicked out of my program very soon.

The past three years were the worst in my entire life. I've always been the smartest not only at school but at almost everywhere else - I've had so much to show for myself. But during grad sch, I experienced the death of a family member, the infidelity of my married partner, on top of depression and anxiety. I do not have any motivation or drive to do my own research, most of the time I'm just scraping by, trying to finish stuff on time, submit the papers that I need to submit. J do not have friends in the department, and I don't like my department. I'm an international student and if I fail grad school I'll be forced to go back to where i'm from, worst yet, it'll affect my partner who stays here for me.

I truly don't know what to do.

My advisor once told me that I'm apparently smart and can do research, but he has no idea why I've not been performing. My heart is not at this, but I didn't have the courage to tell him the truth. But the thing is, I don't know where my heart is right now. I'm in my early thirties and have given up virtually everything to come to a foreign country for grad school. I can't go back with nothing to show off. Not even a master's degree. I feel so ashamed of myself.

Most of the time I just hide in the warmth of my bed and fantasize about an alternate universe where I'm not a complete failure.

I'm sorry for rambling. But my mind is a mess and I don't know what to do about myself.


Can you seek counselling from somewhere? Get some treatment for depression? It sounds like you really need to complete this PhD. It's probably not as bad as it seems, you can still recover from this. Try to ask some other people in your cohort if they can help you pass the class maybe?


Hi doradorawis,
I am sorry tohear what are you going through, it is really hard but I think that you should expalin to your advisor what is going on with you, because he/she should know your personal situation and how is affecting you, and your advisor can talk with someone of the board or department and give you a second chace or advice about it, and look for a counselor, usually every university has one.

Hope to help and think doing little steps.


Hi, doradorawis,

I agree with the advices given here. You do need to get counselling and talk to your advisor about your issues. The counselling should help sort out your emotional and mental state while the open discussion with your supervisor may buy you some time and even additional help to sort out your PhD and get you back on track.You have been through a lot of hardship. Please seek help to get through these difficult times.


doradorawis, you say the following: "I'm in my early thirties and have given up virtually everything to come to a foreign country for grad school. I can't go back with nothing to show off. Not even a master's degree. I feel so ashamed of myself."

You are also worried about the effect on your partner - presumably the partner who cheated on you? This is very odd. If my partner cheated on me she would be the very last person I would be worrying about inconveniencing.

This suggests you are being driven by what others think of you. This is a disastrous thing to do for your mental health.
I would recommend that you try and focus first on what you want from your life and ignore what others think, even if that means removing those people from your life if they won't respect your decisions. We all take wrong paths in life. It's part and parcel of trying to achieve the most meaningful life for ourselves. Being ashamed of taking a wrong path is ridiculous and really you need to cut that out immediately. It's a hugely damaging and worthless activity to be engaging in. Be proud of taking a chance when so many others fear to even try.