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I struggled for a year of graduate school at a good Phd program. They did not think I was ready for 2nd year, not so much because I had weaker grades (my GPA was well above whatever the minimum was but I had B+s, some A-s and an A) but because they felt I did not have a viable project for future fieldwork and dissertation and also because they did not think I was truly committed to it right now. My project evolved into different forms/shapes and I switched it entirely toward the end (asking my advisor first of course), which was a huge mistake now that I think of it, so they questioned what am I really committed to? What am I ready for?
I only took a year off after college, so my ideas were not as formulated and I didn't have as much experience as my peers who were older, many had MAs, lived where they want to do fieldwork, speak the language, etc. I didn't think it would be a problem, I thought I can still compete and "catch up" but reality hit that I was truly not ready. They brought up the fact that I did not take enough time post college and how basically they are generally nervous about taking people from undergrad to grad, but gave it a shot.
Needless to say, I feel a lot of anxiety, depression, and fear. I feel like I had a perfect chance, I was one of the lucky few who made it with the full funding and the stipend deal, and I messed it all up--to put it lightly. I hate myself each day for not coming up with a better project, not seizing any and all opportunity to make things work. Worst of all, I think I just messed up my academic future.
But to get to the point: What are my chances of actually getting into another PhD program later on, in the same field? How can I redeem myself?