Lately, I question my decision to leave academe as much as I question every sentence in my dissertation. Am I sure post-academia is the right path for me? Even just now, typing the question, I feel a knot in my stomach. I mean, I got this far. Almost PhD at TNRU. I’ve been a good student and I worked hard to get to this point. A few months ago, before announcing that I was done with this, I had job offers. It looked like I was off to a good start as a young academic. Why did I hate academe so much? How did I reach this decision?
I’ve been reading On the Fence, the chronicles of a fellow academic who struggled for months between academic and postacademic career paths. I understand what ze is talking about. I’ve hated research before. I’ve hated academic institutions before. I have thought about leaving before. Hell, I didn’t even apply to that many graduate schools because I wasn’t sure this was what I wanted to do. All those times, I pushed through the misery and kept working. Why don’t I do the same right now? Maybe I am just tired. Maybe once I defend my dissertation, I’ll forget about all this nonsense and be happy and in love with the research I produced. Or maybe that’ll happen once I teach my first class as a tenure-track professor. My point is, what if I’m quitting just when things were supposed to get better? It’s that feeling that I can’t look away from the TV because it’s the bottom of the eighth and if I do, I might miss that defining home run.