Lately I've been wondering if I should drop out of a PhD program (in economics).
After graduating with a bachelor's degree, I desperately wanted to know more about the field, and I enrolled in a PhD program. I passed qualifying exams without any problems, and it's time to do research.
The problem is, as I am beginning to realize, I am not at all sure if I want to do research. I believe what I really like is learning new things and applying that knowledge in e.g. conversations, real world problems, etc. I'm generally very happy and excited when I finish reading a paper, a book chapter, or solve a mathematical problem.
But the fun stops there. I have no interest in thinking up my own problems because the way I see it, there are already so many papers or books I haven't read, that I'd much rather spend my time studying the material than going really deep in one particular subject and focusing on it for the next few years (and probably even longer if staying in academia after graduating).
Is this a common way to think at this stage? I've talked about this to a friend in the same program, and he doesn't seem to understand. He is the very opposite of me: he did quite poorly in the exams, but seems to have quite a few ideas (of which most are flat out bad and have been shot down by his supervisor). Whereas I haven't even presented any ideas yet because I don't have any good ones, and would rather study more.
I've realized that perhaps I am just an information sponge, and not a researcher? Can anyone relate to that? I feel like I want to know a little (well, a lot actually) about everything, and not everything about a very specific topic.