I believe almost any PhD student at least once asks her/himself this question. I did to. Two times actually. It always came down to a yes in my case. I remember reading blogposts and had conversations with my friend. I asked this question and two questions followed:
- Why did you start your PhD?
- Why would you want to quit?
If the answer to the first is “for myself”. The answer to the main question is continue.
If the answer to the second is “for myself”. The answer to the main question is quit.
It is that simple.
My doubts started, because I was concerned about my mom and my (future) family. I was not thinking about quitting, because I wanted to quit for myself. No, at both occasions I was feeling selfish by continuing. A PhD is eating so much time away, precious time that could be spend to help people that are important to me. It would be the wrong choice. I envisioned a life full of regret for not continuing. I have the opportunity to pursue a PhD, which is awesome. I can still be there for the people that are important to me. They do not want my full attention all the time anyway. I would still work. I would still go to the gym. I would still eat with my mom. I would still do other things that make me happy. Doing research is making me happy. By doing a PhD research, I improve myself as teacher and human being. I learn to be humble, to be modest, and to understand others better. An improved version of me will also make me a better friend, a better wife, a better mom, and a better daughter.
So, let’s continue!