PhD: Imaginary success
Success often is according to one’s own standard; and it is often career. Vast majority PhDs presumably wanted to succeed in academia (assistant professor) or as professional scientists in laboratories: none of these are true for more than 80% or so PhDs. Bitter PhDs crash down from their imaginary and low-paid ivory tower to take any job they could get. Being behind for about 7-8 years in a career that you possibly didn’t want, is devastating for all. This abject failure of graduate schools don’t shock the academic community because their business model is to attract low paid slaves so they can justify their own jobs. There is some evidence that some high school graduates have gotten the message.
For PhD graduates, it’s too late with 50% getting into postdoc. After imaginary success, real failure set in.