At some point I had vowed never to have a blog, but now I decided to do it. I always thought I didn’t really have anything interesting to say. In fact, I thought I was very original about the “Recovering Academic” concept, but so many people have thought of that before me! It was a similar feeling to believing you have a brilliant new paper idea, and Scholar Google reveals to you that it is actually a sub-sub-subfield of your discipline. I still felt very relieved to know a) there are so many of us b) we struggle with similar, strong feelings about it.
Why did I change my mind about blogs? Leaving academia is as lonely of an experience as staying in it. The decision to jump off the “from-here-to-tenure” wagon is as difficult as it is lonely because of the fear of being ostracized in the department and the PhD program. In my case, it’s hard to explain to my colleagues, and talking to faculty members about it is unthinkable. This feeling of loneliness and hopelessness went away for a little bit when I discovered the blogs of so many people out there who, like me, are leaving/have left the research vocation in search of a different future. I sympathized with their anonymous stories, and felt that my feelings and thoughts about this were validated. I hope this blog can pay it forward one day (or pay it back!).
About me: I am a PhD candidate in a certain social science at a Top Notch Research University (TNRU). After many years apart, I finally moved far away from campus, to live with my significant other who has a “real job”. I hope this is the last year I spend as a student.