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Thursday, 11 July 2019 at 11:26am
Thursday, 11 July 2019 at 2:01pm
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Thread: Unsure about starting PhD

11-Jul-19, 11:57
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posted about 1 year ago
So I just finished my fourth year studying for an integrated Masters degree at Cambridge. I really struggled with mental health during the fourth year and ended up convinced that my project (which was 50% of my grade) was a total failure and so I ended up not doing the viva or any of my exams on the taught content. My project was subsequently marked and given a 2.1 so I would have been fine but I was not in a fit state to do my exams and by this point I had decided to intermit and repeat the year (which would have been a struggle as everyone I know would have graduated). However I had a PhD offer at another university and they are happy for me to start in September without having to repeat the year (Cambridge does not give an overall grade for the integrated masters degree so I will graduate with a 2.1 in bachelor's and 'deemed to deserve honours' in my masters - it is a grey area what grade I can declare for my degree).
However I am now having massive doubts about my capability to carry out the PhD - it is 300 miles away from most of my family and friends and although I initially found the topic interesting, because of all that has happened I no longer have any faith in my capacity to do research, and do not really want to work in academia long term. Unfortunately I have now lost my chance to repeat the year and my job prospects look bleak due to what is essentially a failed masters year attached to my bachelor's - in addition there aren't really any jobs I am interested in. Is it worth attempting to go and do the PhD anyway and seeing what happens? I am worried about moving to a new city where I know very few people and I know PhDs are very stressful. However it was challenging to get the offer in the first place and I would like to make the most of it!
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