Icky evening

Posted by barb on Aug 11, 2003 in Thesis/Grad Life |

I was reminded yet again tonight that 1) life is not fair, and 2) I’m nowhere near where I thought I would be at 31.

I’ve been a student for the better part of 31 years. Yup. Started pre-school at 6 years-old, elementary at 7, junior high at 13, high school at 16, community college at 18, 4-year college (transferred) at 24, graduate school at 27. I got my master’s degree at 30. Took a year and a half off. And here I am again at 31, half time, working toward a PhD.

I’ve discovered that with my Master’s degree in Astrophysics, I’m at the peak of my earning potential right now. Even if I get a PhD, I’ll only increase my earning potential if I choose to (and can find) a full-time research position. I don’t think I could do that — I’ve seen what it does to people. They become maniac workaholics who work 10 hours a day Monday through Friday, and then several hours on weekends. I enjoy discovering the secrets of the universe, but not at the expense of my entire personal life.

I can’t help but think that I’ve made a serious tactical error in my career choice. What the hell was I thinking? Who goes into astrophysics anymore? I want to be able to afford a new car. I want to pay off my credit cards. I want to pay off my student loans without accruing any new ones. Apparently that’s just too much to ask for a 31-year-old with a master’s degree. Apparently it’s not enough.

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