I have survived the first two weeks of my new job! I think anyone in grad school has been told being a professor is different than being a grad student. But how? I certainly don’t have the big picture yet, but I do have the ability to ramble about how it’s felt so far. Featuring some week 1 and 2 outfit pictures, because, you know, blog theme.
This blog post is not very organized, just fyi. My thoughts aren’t very organized yet sooo
What’s the same? During orientation week I was definitely having an identity crisis. I thought “would a professor do this?” about 100 times, about 100 different sentences I spoke, outfits I chose, etc. I had these thoughts while on the job market, too, and the moment I stopped asking if what I was doing was ok was the moment I got way better at job interviews because I went back to being myself.
Being myself has always felt a little weird in academia, though. Research is serious. The university is serious. But I’m definitely the teacher from those “how is college different” memes at heart…
You know, but with some standards. But I generally think that if I’m not having at least a little fun at work I’m doing it wrong.
By week 2 I have mostly recovered from this “would a professor have this personality” crisis, mostly because teaching has given me a sense of continuity. It helps that students ask the same questions everywhere (“can I buy a different version of this textbook even though you said three times in class that I couldn’t,” for example…).
I had this wonderful moment on Wednesday where I was working in my office and I was just like “yep this is my office totally normal to be here” and then I was like “WOW when did having an office become normal?!” I’m sure one day I’ll turn around and realized I’ve settled in here and it mostly happened while I was busy figuring out how to get into my voicemail, get the bookstore to order enough textbooks for my class, and trying to understand why I need three separate logins to get into the university library.
Here are some resources I’ve read and things I’ve been thinking about during this transition:
- How to create a network on campus (I think I’m just gonna start emailing random people to get coffee if it looks like they do research at all similar to mine)
- That I’ll never have as much time as I do now
- That year 2 is just as important as year 1 (planning research projects now so they can get off the ground)
- How to be a good academic journal reviewer
- The case for letting your dissertation rest
As I emailed my academic support group this morning “when will my job get really really difficult? Is it already difficult and I’m just too emotionally dead to notice? Is this it?” I don’t know what “it” is going to look like yet but I’ll keep you all posted.
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