More on yesterday’s outburst

Posted by barb on Aug 12, 2003 in Thesis/Grad Life |

Okay, I did not mean to imply, by yesterday’s outburst, that I got into science for the money. There is no money in science. If I’d wanted to do something for money, I would have gone into engineering or computers or business. I went into science because I’m curious, and this is one of the few fields that fully rewards curiosity.

I went into astrophysics because I love the stars — even after eight years of concentrated astronomy study, I still find the stars and the night sky magical. I cry when I’m alone in a large field at midnight away from city lights. The vastness makes me feel so small, and yet so important at the same time. I’m just a speck on a speck in the whole wide Universe (and that’s only the parts we can see), but I am. And even though I don’t actually look at the sources I’m studying (since X-rays can’t be seen), I still feel the magic in my work — the things I study are millions of light years away, and yet we can deduce what cool phenomena are producing the light we see.

It just seems that after two bachelor’s degrees (astrophysics and math) and a master’s degree (astrophysics), I should be able to 1) afford housing, 2) afford a new car, 3) pay off my student debt (both loans and credit cards). Currently I’m only able to pay off my student debt at a decent rate because I’m not paying for housing. Even at that, I can’t dream of buying a new car.

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