This evening I sent off an email to my (distant education) university to withdraw from my studies. I was only one course, a special termpaper and my thesis short of getting the Master’s degree, but to be honest I haven’t really been working on that for the last 1.5 – 2 years. I should have withdrawn back then and saved some of the money I had to pay for staying enrolled and for the last courses I did sign up for last year, but never really did any work for.
I don’t really know why I postponed that decision to withdraw for so long. Most probably because I wanted to postpone feeling like a failure for not finishing it and for not achieving what I set out to achieve all those years ago when I first got enrolled. I always told myself, that one day maybe I will get back the motivation and interest that drove me to start this in the first place. But to be honest, I never really did. One of the main problems might have been, that for the past few years I never had a clear idea what I wanted to write my thesis about and that’s such a huge part of the credits, that without it, it didn’t seem to make sense to even work for the rest of it. Does that make sense? Probably not. I still quite don’t know when I really lost the drive to work on it all. Maybe when I got my current job three years ago, which is in a field that this Master degree and all the studying was supposed to give me extra qualification for. And it did, because I got the job, even without having actually finished my studies and without having the M.Sc. to show for.
Before I started that job three years ago I’ve only ever have worked part-time, which had given me enough time to work on extra education and studies and writing termpapers and such. And I did try to keep it up even with the new full-time job (+ 1.5 hours of commute each day), but then realized that I just didn’t have the time and energy anymore to sit down and study in the evning or on the weekends. I had only gotten a 2-years-contract there at first, so I was hesitant to quit all my study plans, because it wasn’t 100% sure they would be able to keep me, but then they did and now I don’t really see the necessity to get the Master degree after all. Because even if I ever want to get another job in this field of work I think the classes I did finish and more important the work experience I have gotten by now, would make up for a missing 2nd degree of education. At least I hope it will.
And I guess I just have to live with sometimes maybe feeling a bit like a failure for quitting. But overall I know it’s the right decision to quit now and not let it drag on for another year or two. And more importantly to get “thinking and worrying and beating myself up about it” out of my system and to have more space (in my mind and in my life) to think about and maybe work on other stuff. Creatively. Volunteering for social projects. I don’t know. Doing something useful or satisfying with my time. Just not… studying :-)