In 2015, I enrolled in an MSc in Computer Security program with the aim of getting a Ph.D. However, I dropped out of that program as I didn't like it. Then I enrolled in a MSc Machine Learning program in 2016 but again dropped out of that program because it was too hard for me, apparently because my proficiency in statistics was not sufficient. So, my Ph.D. dream was shattered by the end of 2016.
After much struggle, I was able to draw the attention of a research professor in bioinformatics because: (1) even though I dropped out of two programs, I did a lot of self-study out of curiosity and sheer interest; and (2) I have outstanding computer programming skills from my Bachelor's years.
This research professor has offered me two scholarships: one is from the National Science Council and another from the faculty; we published two papers; and finally, I have been accepted for a Ph.D. position this year. Therefore, everything is looking great for me.
I was even able to forget my previous two failures in the form of dropouts. This memory is giving me no pain anymore.
However, I have become old. My age is 41 years and 7 months. To put things in perspective, my classmates have already become professors.
Also, I am unemployed and surviving on scholarship money. Although my professor has taken me on many research projects, they are not a steady source of income; they are like bursts of money. My wife and only child are being taken care of by my parents. I have also been suffering from depression.
At this age and reality, a PhD does not seem to be a success anymore, although it has been my lifelong dream to have a PhD.
What should I do about this?