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Advice on……. Giving up / starting afresh


Jinaa

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P.s I apologise in advance for the long text

So I am a recent Masters graduate from a University in Europe.

My plan is to pursue a PhD after my Masters but unfortunately , I couldn’t get a good funded PhD position before my permit expires.
 I do have a supervisor willing to let me do my PhD with her research group but there’s currently no funding now, so she asked me to be patient for funding to come up.

I also did get an offer for a position in Italy but it only pays €1000/month, which doesn’t even cover basic expenses in a city like Milan so I didn’t take it. ( I was also advised it’s best to get a position in a place where I can easily get a longer term job afterwards, so that I don’t experience this situation I’m in again).

 I also applied for regular jobs , not just PhD’s but most companies won’t hire me because I am a foreigner and they don’t want to go through the work permit application especially because I am a junior in my field.

The point now is I have to return to my home country and keep applying for any open PhD positions while also hoping funding comes up for the research group.

My problem is that it’s so sad having to return, my country is really rough and the economy makes it so bad, unemployment rate is through the roof, electricity is bad and internet is poor.
So right now I just feel like a failure going home to live with my parents at 28 with no money .
I have been depressed for a while now, I also have anxiety, I have gained like 30kg in the last few months and often think not so good thoughts.

I’m too ashamed, everyone I know who tried hard to leave our country and go abroad never returned, they got a job and made it out. I don’t know why my own situation has to be different.  It feels like bad luck.

My spirit is so down, like I will just go home, give up and hide away, I’m so numb and exhausted.

What advice you will give in navigating returning home, the shame , mental health, facing everyone back home, trying again to make it out of my country. It feels impossible and sad.

Would love to hear what people would do if they were in my situation.

 

 

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Hi @Jinaa. I'm sorry you are facing a bump in the road, so to speak; a resetting of your path and needing to make changes. That can really be hard on self confidence and esteem. 😕 i know at various times in my life I've felt the same way, that here I was unable to flourish and thrive as many of my friends did, often thinking "what's wrong with me?"

 

It's often said that we move at different paces and speeds, sometimes blooming in difficult situations immediately, while other times things take longer. I think when I've heard such advice in the past for myself, it might have made me feel a sense of failure but it's absolutely true; what works for people 1 through 10 may not be workable for person 11. Each of us has personal setbacks however the important thing is to not allow these things to define WHO we are. Anyone can have a tough time getting ahead.

 

You have a bit of a challenge in needing a specific type of opportunity to come up to further your career and education, correct? It sounds as if much of this depends on timing, which can be frustrating i know. Could you take the lesser paying option and perhaps rent a room in a home rather than your own place to lower expenses? Maybe wait tables on weekends for extra income? I don't know if there are such options which might make a difference temporarily while you wait for the ideal position to come up?

 

I hear you about not wanting to return home, and how that might feel like a poor move right now, however if that happens can you keep looking for new position online? Networking with others in your field and industry? Sometimes opportunities emerge from simple connections and through previous interactions or acquaintances. 

 

I'm sorry you are disappointed and not having the opportunity you hoped for, but please don't allow this to define you as "a failure", or as unsuccessful - it is merely a step in your journey that just make take a bit of a longer route. Wishing you luck and peace. 

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14 hours ago, Jinaa said:

What advice you will give in navigating returning home, the shame , mental health, facing everyone back home, trying again to make it out of my country. It feels impossible and sad.

Oh, I would definitely rebrand this spin ^^^.

I'd be happy to return home for a long overdue visit with my family, friends and neighbors, who I love and have truly missed. I'd be the opposite of 'shameful,' but rather, proud of the worldly experiences I've gained and my hard-earned Master's degree and my prospects for my future--although I would not brag.

I'd continue to pursue potential opportunities every day. I'd consider the resources I used to apply for the program I've mastered, and I'd revisit those to learn of more possibilities. I'd even explore ways to accept the option in Italy, where I'm sure other students have accepted and are managing to live on the low salary somehow. Research where they live, how they might have applied for additional funding or crowd sourcing, and where they obtain food and the basics of living.

If I still decide not to take the Italy job, then I'd continue my course of returning home a hero rather than casting myself as a zero. I'd embrace a spirit of generosity and throw myself into community aid and volunteer my time and help to others, even as I keep researching and applying for scholarships, fellowships, mentorships, and any avenue of help for myself to navigate beyond this visit.

All of the above, especially your attitude, would make it difficult for others to criticize you, but if you're confronted with an underhanded comment, I'd respond cheerfully by asking whether they, themselves, have studied in Milan, and if so, they're welcome to impart their experience, because I'm considering an option there.

Head high, and don't sink yourself with your own mind. Choose carefully how you frame this, and choose a better outcome--starting with your choice of the attitude you will adopt.

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18 hours ago, delmarvausa said:

Hi @Jinaa. I'm sorry you are facing a bump in the road, so to speak; a resetting of your path and needing to make changes. That can really be hard on self confidence and esteem. 😕 i know at various times in my life I've felt the same way, that here I was unable to flourish and thrive as many of my friends did, often thinking "what's wrong with me?"

 

It's often said that we move at different paces and speeds, sometimes blooming in difficult situations immediately, while other times things take longer. I think when I've heard such advice in the past for myself, it might have made me feel a sense of failure but it's absolutely true; what works for people 1 through 10 may not be workable for person 11. Each of us has personal setbacks however the important thing is to not allow these things to define WHO we are. Anyone can have a tough time getting ahead.

 

You have a bit of a challenge in needing a specific type of opportunity to come up to further your career and education, correct? It sounds as if much of this depends on timing, which can be frustrating i know. Could you take the lesser paying option and perhaps rent a room in a home rather than your own place to lower expenses? Maybe wait tables on weekends for extra income? I don't know if there are such options which might make a difference temporarily while you wait for the ideal position to come up?

 

I hear you about not wanting to return home, and how that might feel like a poor move right now, however if that happens can you keep looking for new position online? Networking with others in your field and industry? Sometimes opportunities emerge from simple connections and through previous interactions or acquaintances. 

 

I'm sorry you are disappointed and not having the opportunity you hoped for, but please don't allow this to define you as "a failure", or as unsuccessful - it is merely a step in your journey that just make take a bit of a longer route. Wishing you luck and peace. 

Thank you for your kind words, I’m trying hard not to be negative. I decided not to take the Mila position because as a PhD student you are not allowed to take up any other job that isn’t related to your research. Also the biggest issue is that at the end of my PhD I will be force to leave again just like now because it’s not easy to get a sponsorship for a work permit as a foreigner. So I was advised to go for other EU countries that are more open to international workers getting sponsorships.

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18 hours ago, TeeDee said:

Can you get a job somewhere at a decent salary with your Masters' degree & do that FT for a while?  Take about a year or so off from pursuing your PhD.  Work, save etc.   Then if you get into the right company you may be able to convince them to pay for your PhD. 

I’ve been searching for a job and hopefully something comes up. I’m in the tech field and due to all the layoffs it’s so hard to get a job. I has a part time tech job during my Masters but was among the people layed off. 

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17 hours ago, catfeeder said:

Oh, I would definitely rebrand this spin ^^^.

I'd be happy to return home for a long overdue visit with my family, friends and neighbors, who I love and have truly missed. I'd be the opposite of 'shameful,' but rather, proud of the worldly experiences I've gained and my hard-earned Master's degree and my prospects for my future--although I would not brag.

I'd continue to pursue potential opportunities every day. I'd consider the resources I used to apply for the program I've mastered, and I'd revisit those to learn of more possibilities. I'd even explore ways to accept the option in Italy, where I'm sure other students have accepted and are managing to live on the low salary somehow. Research where they live, how they might have applied for additional funding or crowd sourcing, and where they obtain food and the basics of living.

If I still decide not to take the Italy job, then I'd continue my course of returning home a hero rather than casting myself as a zero. I'd embrace a spirit of generosity and throw myself into community aid and volunteer my time and help to others, even as I keep researching and applying for scholarships, fellowships, mentorships, and any avenue of help for myself to navigate beyond this visit.

All of the above, especially your attitude, would make it difficult for others to criticize you, but if you're confronted with an underhanded comment, I'd respond cheerfully by asking whether they, themselves, have studied in Milan, and if so, they're welcome to impart their experience, because I'm considering an option there.

Head high, and don't sink yourself with your own mind. Choose carefully how you frame this, and choose a better outcome--starting with your choice of the attitude you will adopt.

🥲 This made me cry a bit. Thank you, this is sweet and such a positive way to look at it. 
Unfortunately the Milan job won’t work, while I may be able to figure out a way to live frugally. It would be frustrating because Milan is super expensive and you don’t get to take up a part time job as a PhD student. 
Also I was advised to look for opportunities in other European countries where they are more opportunities for international students or workers to have a long term career.  In Italy it is super hard to get opportunities like that.
So I will go home and keep looking for more long term and better opportunities.

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5 hours ago, Jinaa said:

... I was advised to look for opportunities in other European countries where they are more opportunities for international students or workers to have a long term career.  In Italy it is super hard to get opportunities like that.

I would question that advice, because accepting it lands you 'definitely' in that very same feared situation TODAY rather than the 'possibility' of facing it after you've gained even more credentials, which would better enable you to find the proper work anywhere else in Europe--a situation which doesn't exist for you today.

If the poverty of your own country amidst zero opportunities doesn't dishearten you more than the poverty of living amidst wealth, where part time jobs within your field may be possible, then here you are. But I'd avoid the potential mistake of "contempt prior to investigation" by researching how other students might either thrive or wilt in Italy, how they manage, where they might gain part time jobs while studying, and whether their credentials might be somehow more or less valuable than from anywhere else.

Especially consider that you'd at least be gaining those credentials instead of hiding from provincial criticism at home. Isn't one opportunity to gain the degree worth researching and considering in favor of zero opportunities?

 

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