3nater-deactivated20120518 asked: The envy I feel toward your life is immense. Exactly how rough is the world of academia?
I am currently 26 (older than 99% of the people on tumblr), with a Masters from Oxford and living at home with my parents in Kentucky working at a bakery to make ends meet. It’s that rough :-). That said, preasent status is actually part of a plan of accepting somewhat less than optimal/embarassing situations now so as to be in the best position to start my PhD in the fall. The world of academia is like any other world. It has its ups and downs, its pro’s and con’s. The envy I feel towards my peers who have stable jobs, relationships, houses, etc. is as substantial as any they feel towards my seemingly (via the Facebook, Tumblr, etc. ) fun, exciting academic life. Much like any career, one’s ability to survive and thrive in the academic world boils down to three things: talent, luck, and perseverance. I would say my world is no more or less rough than anyone else’s: it’s simply mine. I would say it’s made substantially less rough by the conscious choices to rejoice with others when they find sucess in any endeavor and to refuse to indulge in any sort of self congratulatory self loathing and or escapist fantasies. All life paths are rough because, fundamentally they all involve living, which is known to be fatal and- even worse- requires significant engagement with human beaings. The Horror! The Horror! Living with people historically makes things rough. While that seems rather fatalistic and bleak its actually rather re-assuring. Life is just life for everyone. The problem with Tumblr, IMO, is that it induces us to envy others, to collect parts of their lives via-re blogging- as away of expressing our own dissatisfaction with our own lives. As Rilke says: the point is to live the questions now.
Note, this answer meant to be sincere and not mocking, pedantic, aloof or rude. Interwebs distort tone.