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How to celebrate good news?


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@emprof this whole comment made me so emotional! I think my approach to this process as an applicant has been that I want to go to grad school because I want to go to grad school, and there is no guarantee of a job on the other side and that is okay. Like, if I have to do something else on the other side it will be hard and demoralizing and probably devastating, but that doesn't mean I can't *not* try to do this for as long as I can and take it as far as I am able. Because it makes me a better person and a better thinker and because I just really f*cking love it. And so I try to view each 'next' thing as something I'm doing for its own sake, because it's making me better. And maybe that's naive or silly or won't apply to everything down the road (certainly didn't apply to the GREs and filling out my ethnographic information approximately 7000 times on identical application interfaces, however), but it helps me to remember that I'm doing this because I love it and not necessarily to get to the next thing. Even so, this has been a surprisingly emotional and stressful season--I thought that once I got in anywhere it would all be ecstatic joy and relief all of the time, but now I'm dealing with having to make choices and grapple with my insecurities and all of that. And so this comment was really, really helpful and resonated with the moment I find myself in. I'm not trying to patronize either, but I sure as hell hope I'm not standing at the beginning of six years of hellish life. 

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16 hours ago, emprof said:

Speaking from a bunch of years down the line: all the MORE reason to celebrate! (And maybe this is your point, in which case I don't mean to belabor the obvious.) This is one of the things about the academic life cycle: it's never over. You wait to get into grad school, you wait to pass your QEs, you wait to "advance to candidacy," you wait to pass a prospectus, you wait to get a fellowship, you wait to publish your first article, you wait to get a job interview, you wait to get a campus visit, you wait to get a job, you wait to get a book contract, you wait for the book to come out, you wait for book reviews, you wait to get tenure, you wait to get a fellowship, you wait for your graduate student to get hired, you wait to get a second book, you wait to get promoted ...

I'm listing all of this not to be demoralizing, but to say that one of the best things you can do for yourself and your career is to create time for rest and celebration and rejuvenation. It will make you better at your job. Have a time every night when you stop working. Have a "sabbath" of some sort: a 24-hour period each week when you don't work. There will be weeks when it's impossible (as at any job), but don't make that the norm.

Thank you, this is a wonderful perspective! I'm taking a big leap and leaving behind another career and all the job security in the world and I'm happy as can be because I've experienced what it's like to do something that serves as nothing but a paycheck. For most people, out of necessity, that's all that a career will be so I'm celebrating having the privilege to pursue something I love. Not a lot of people get the opportunity to do that. 

That said, it will most certainly be challenging as is anything worthwhile. But damn I'm excited for it. 

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On 2/22/2019 at 5:28 PM, emprof said:

Speaking from a bunch of years down the line: all the MORE reason to celebrate! (And maybe this is your point, in which case I don't mean to belabor the obvious.) This is one of the things about the academic life cycle: it's never over. You wait to get into grad school, you wait to pass your QEs, you wait to "advance to candidacy," you wait to pass a prospectus, you wait to get a fellowship, you wait to publish your first article, you wait to get a job interview, you wait to get a campus visit, you wait to get a job, you wait to get a book contract, you wait for the book to come out, you wait for book reviews, you wait to get tenure, you wait to get a fellowship, you wait for your graduate student to get hired, you wait to get a second book, you wait to get promoted ...

I'm listing all of this not to be demoralizing, but to say that one of the best things you can do for yourself and your career is to create time for rest and celebration and rejuvenation. It will make you better at your job. Have a time every night when you stop working. Have a "sabbath" of some sort: a 24-hour period each week when you don't work. There will be weeks when it's impossible (as at any job), but don't make that the norm.

Academic life can be the best gig out there, because you can work on something you love; you can have constant intellectual challenge; you can have tremendous flexibility in your schedule; you can work with brilliant people. It can be the worst gig out there if you drive something you love into the ground; you never feel satisfied with having met challenges; you never give yourself a break; and you never feel like you measure up to your brilliant colleagues. Choose the happier version. At least most of the time. 

 

 

😍😭@emprof it is so wonderful having you around in the forums especially as someone who was traumatized by lack of mentorship and advice in my master's - you're giving me hope! 

On 2/22/2019 at 6:29 PM, isoldeabandoned said:

@emprof this whole comment made me so emotional! I think my approach to this process as an applicant has been that I want to go to grad school because I want to go to grad school, and there is no guarantee of a job on the other side and that is okay. Like, if I have to do something else on the other side it will be hard and demoralizing and probably devastating, but that doesn't mean I can't *not* try to do this for as long as I can and take it as far as I am able. Because it makes me a better person and a better thinker and because I just really f*cking love it. And so I try to view each 'next' thing as something I'm doing for its own sake, because it's making me better. And maybe that's naive or silly or won't apply to everything down the road (certainly didn't apply to the GREs and filling out my ethnographic information approximately 7000 times on identical application interfaces, however), but it helps me to remember that I'm doing this because I love it and not necessarily to get to the next thing. Even so, this has been a surprisingly emotional and stressful season--I thought that once I got in anywhere it would all be ecstatic joy and relief all of the time, but now I'm dealing with having to make choices and grapple with my insecurities and all of that. And so this comment was really, really helpful and resonated with the moment I find myself in. I'm not trying to patronize either, but I sure as hell hope I'm not standing at the beginning of six years of hellish life. 

Ahhhh I love this also ditto re: the ethnographic info WHY is there no common app yet?! Especially when I could tell the same platform was being used for each school!

I'm trying to shake the trauma and betrayal of a nightmare master's degree and I DO still love this enough to want to keep doing it just for me. In some ways past experience has made me feel like I have to go in like a warrior - cold and fierce with hard boundaries about what I need in terms of work/life balance and support and non-toxicity set in stone, and that maybe if I'm just not naive this time around it will prevent the years from being hellish. But I am also trying to learn to hope and be optimistic and give some/most of academia a chance again - I mean, we've all learned from rom-coms that hardening yourself so you won't get hurt doesn't work, so why would that work with careers? So in that spirit here's some more things I've done to celebrate that I recommend for y'all:

1) Made a list of fun things that I'm excited to do in the city I'll (probably) be moving to that aren't academic.

2) Talked to others about some of the things that gave me a sense of child-like wonder and joy when I explored them in undergrad, with the hope that maybe I'll be able to access that feeling again in a PhD.

3) Told more people about my admission - I was weirdly reluctant to do this, but then they force you to celebrate which is helpful and nice. Since telling close friends/family is kind of hard, I practice by doing things like telling my dentist! (Sounds weird but near-strangers are v. nice for this sort of thing because they don't have any expectations for you and are pretty much guaranteed to be impressed.)

4) Took the dog for a walk to a high-up place where home was spread out before me and thought about my growth as a human and hopes for the future (cue montage soundtrack)

5) Looked closely at the adjectives used in my emails from the department - there was something wonderful about realizing that previous acceptances/job offers have said things like "enthusiasm for the subject" and "potential," and now they're being to say things like "superb qualifications" and "an asset to the department." It made me feel like the years so far of teaching and studying HAVE actually gotten me somewhere and people have noticed, even if I didn't feel like it. 

🌻

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