I haven't been in this forum for a while. I became a PR in Jan 2017 in Vancouver. After that, I went back to Singapore to continue working and to (in the meantime) figure out what to do in Canada. I have a PhD in a social science field from an American university, and the academic job market in Canada is very bleak (applied to 2 university jobs, both rejected). In any case, I decided that I would pursue a 2-year MSc degree in a healthcare field at UBC. Because this is a very small, niche program, I will not mention what it is, in order to preserve anonymity. The department boasts an almost 100% employment rate for students after graduation (and the pay is quite good). So, while still in Singapore, I applied for the Fall 2018 entry into this program and was accepted. I left Singapore and came to Vancouver in June 2018. I am the oldest student (mid-30s) in the class (the youngest is 22), and the only one who was not born and raised in Canada. This is a 2-year program with essentially no break (summer terms are for practicums) until summer 2020 when I am anticipated to graduate. The curriculum is basically prescribed (no choice as to what courses to take or when; but see below). After the first semester (when I had to take 8 courses (granted, not all of them were full-credit)), I felt exhausted physically and mentally. Now I am in an even more challenging 2nd semester, and I am feeling very tired and unmotivated even though school has started only a little over 1 week ago. Yes, my brain tells me that I need to be grateful for this opportunity and just get on with it. Yet, I just feel tired and unbothered in my heart. The thinking that this will go on for another 1.5 years is dreadful. After talking to someone in the department, I realized that it is actually possible to either take a deferral for 1 year, or to reduce the courseload and spread the program across 3 years. Added to all this, is a somewhat worrying realization that this field may not be 100% compatible with my disposition (I am very introverted, and this profession requires interaction with people). However, I knew this, coming into the program. The stress/fatigue/the "can't be arsed" feeling just "compounds" this awareness. Further, due to my personal circumstances, between my previous job in Singapore and the beginning of this program, I had almost zero break. I guess if you ask me what I need most right now, my heart will say "a break". I have three options, and I am not sure which is the best. 1) Reduce courseload and spread the program across 3 years. My biggest concern over this, is that this means I will take courses with the next cohort of students. I take no delight interacting with people (under stressful situations such as doing group projects), and even less with a new set of people. And no, none of the other students in my cohort is contemplating extending the program. 2) Take a deferral for 1 year. This is what my heart really wants. In addition, it will give me the time to actually think about whether this is what I want and where my life should be headed. However, it has the same problem as described in 1). In addition, I will then have to face the full-time curriculum when I come back, which will be as stressful as it is now. There is a risk of not wanting to come back altogether (for better or for worse). 3) Just get on with it. Grit my teeth and carry on. Take a 6 month to 1 year break after graduation in summer 2020 before seeking employment. Ultimately, I will have to make a decision myself, and quick! The reason I am posting this thread in this forum is that doing this MSc program is part of my settlement in Canada, and not just an educational experience per se. If anyone has any thoughts to share, I am most eager and grateful to hear them! You can talk about the 3 options above, or anything related to my situation. Thanks! Thank you!