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Irrational
12-03-2010, 11:08 PM
Hello guys,

some people are very determined. They say, you have to be determined if you want to succeed in a PhD program. However, I do not feel completely sure about my future. Therefore, I think it might be helpful to take a break and put some steps off the academic track.
This is yet a very vague notion. So it might be that, doing some travelling for 2-3 months will abolish the unsureness. It might that I need to take half a year to find out, that an academic career is not a good perspective for me.

Therefore, I would love to hear your thoughts on the following two questions:

1) What do you think is the best timing for some time off? After Bachelor or after Master? (Clearly not after PhD.)

2) What are your experiences with that? Did you go non stop academic without any regrets? Did you need something different to gain a broader perspective?

I am looking forward to your answers.

Irrational

PS: This is apparently normal thought.
PHD Comics: Complicated (http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=826)

The MAN
12-04-2010, 12:32 AM
I took a "break" after my Bachelor's. I spent 5 years in the work force. When I decided to go back, it became apparent that a master's would be needed before I went on to PhD (see the great post on pursuing PhD as an older applicant).

I can't tell you exactly what to do, but many people that don't do well in grad school go in without committing completely to the program. So, if you need a break, take it before you start.

_nanashi
12-04-2010, 08:22 AM
I would travel the semester between Bachelor's and PhD in the U.S. enjoy that summer. Also keep in mind you generally will have the summer off between your Ph.D. and fall if you pass the qualifiers on the first try ;O. Masters its hard to say. The reason is many M.A. programs have a summer thesis or something similar.