A bit of irony. My grad school advice must have picked up some serious Googlejuice lately, because I am getting a ton of email about it. Much—all right, all—of this email asks my advice. Er, this is, to put it mildly, slightly strange. Guys? Gals? I’m the one who crapped out, remember? Failed? Crawled… [Caveat Lector]
if you have or are considering grad school read this article. i will say that i am opinion that there is only 1 reason to get a ph.d. and that this. 'you cannot imagine yourself without it' when i was 8 i said i'd get a ph.d., it is what i've always wanted, but i fully realize that my entire justification is just that, 'my imagination' if you think yours is otherwise, i suggest a very close examination of what you want and are.
I've been lucky of course, I've had a great graduate school experience, all of the people that I've dealt with have been supportive and interested in my work in some manner, sure some have been critical, but then I've been critical of some people too, but the end of a ph.d. especially in the humanities and the social science is more about your own personal pursuit of knowledge and how you can relate that to the rest of the world.
Keeping in mind that my imagination of the ph.d. is one of many possible solutions to the question, you could of course be the girl or guy as above who finally solves question z, whatever that may be, but let me be clear, even if you think you've solved it. this is always a contentious world, you probably have solved nothing, and in that regard i suggest reading some of the finer writings on academia, like white noise, or homo academicus.
to each is own, don't try to make it more, cause then yer just being pretentious;)