When you think of being a professor you think of long hours and late nights either writing proposals to get funding or developing lesson plans. You also think of the amount of time that needs to be put in to guarantee that you become a tenured faculty member. When you add all of this up it kind of seems like even after graduate school having a life is a vague dream that will be hard to come by. So how can this be changed?
Honestly I don’t have an answer to this question. Maybe the idea/myth that in order to become a tenured faculty member you need to work every waking hour needs to be replaced with the idea that during school hours you should be focused on all of that stuff (research and teaching) and outside of school hours you need to have a ‘life’, a break where you can try to not think about work so that you don’t get burnt out.
When you think about it being a tenured faculty member is kind of like putting the icing on a cake for an individual in academia, where the cake is your job at the university. As that saying goes you always want to have your cake and eat it to, where for this case the eat it to part would refer to having a life and savoring the hard work you have done. Is it really unrealistic to have your cake and eat it too? I just really hope that answer is no because I love cake and I love eating it to. I mean what’s the point of having a fancy cake that looks cool but to the point where you are too scared to eat it.
For now, I will stay focused on school and getting my graduate degree. I think I will just save the having a life and figuring out a work life balance to future Craig.