I am a second year fully-funded PhD student in a stem field at a large American public university. In my department, most students spend the first two years (and sometimes three years) only doing coursework and working on the qualifying exams. This is unusual in other programs, but here it is normal. Consequently, I do not have a research advisor and have done no research since I came here. Since I've passed my qualifying exams, I am now at the point where I am expected to find an advisor.
Here's the problem... I never liked research as an undergraduate. I absolutely hated it, and I even had multiple "prestigious" experiences at different institutions with different research mentors and groups. The only common denominator is me and I don't think I can blame my former research mentors for why I was miserable. I applied to PhD programs after my undergraduate career because it was suggested to me and I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I was also advised to apply to PhD programs and leave with a master's degree if I decided I don't like it (since masters programs are unfunded).
I want to leave with a master's degree and move on with my life. I don't know how to explain this to my department. I fear they will try and force me to leave without a master's degree even though I have met the requirements. I also fear how they will react in general... I'd rather not burn bridges or experience intense pressure to stay. I have never heard of someone quitting after passing the qualifying exams, so I imagine the department will find this to be very bizarre.
Any suggestions on how to navigate this situation are appreciated.