Just turned in final paper. Now can’t stop thinking in LaTeX. %struggs
So I haven’t written anything reflective on here in a while. Being in grad school keeps me busy with work, and I do all of my reflecting to a few close friends or to myself between the times when my brain is occupied with OLS Regression and networks.
One thing I’ve been thinking about lately is having an academic career vs. having a life. Academia chops years and $$$ off of your life in many ways, I think. Naturally, if learning and researching and teaching is what you love to do (as it is what I love to do), then it’s a completely worthwhile sacrifice. But sometimes I wonder: what will happen when I want to have children? I know it’s pretty far off, but I want to be able to save up enough to provide them with all of the opportunities I’ve been fortunate enough to have. And with at least another 4 small-salary years ahead, I begin to wonder if I’m being fair to my future offspring by not saving up yet; by not just collecting my masters’ and calling it a day; by not working a job that I don’t necessarily feel as passionate about.
And then I begin to wonder: to what extent do other women with careers that take up a great deal of their time (and potential earnings) have these kinds of thoughts? After all, I think there is a lot of pressure on women to not only be a successful mother and caregiver, but also to have this amazing career, and to look amazing, and to be able to juggle all of this amazingly. It’s a lot to think about.
Meanwhile, I don’t really feel like I have much of a maternal instinct yet. I see babies and, mostly, I really just don’t care. Yeah, that’s cool, it’s a mini-person. That’s how I feel about it. I care a lot more about finding the perfect intersection of qualitative and quantitative research, to be wholly honest. However, the hypothetical scenario of bringing this person that I infinitely love and care about into the world - that shares genetic traits with me - is, in a lot of ways, deeply and somewhat irrationally important to me.
So I guess I open up my reflection to the few people who follow this blog: are their any other women (or people of any gender, for that matter), who wonder whether or not they’re doing the right thing for their future (and maybe for their future children) by spending a great deal of their young life in school? Or who worry about balancing career and family someday?