What’s it like to be a new professor? Plus week 1 and 2 outfits

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.

Teacher style: prairie edition.

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…

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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.

This is a “I’m working on campus but not teaching today” moment.


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…).

Wore this to a welcome event where I was told to “dress festive.” Only five people dressed festive…

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:

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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