Saturday, October 23, 2010

24. “You are still in school?”

As you age, your relatives and family friends will begin to marvel at the fact that you are still a student. After spending so much time in the Ivory Tower, it is easy for a graduate student to forget just how small the world of higher education is in the context of the wider world. Academic culture is not universally understood beyond the hedges surrounding campus. It is sometimes hard for people—even well-educated people—outside of academe to understand the difference between a college student and a graduate student. Your Uncle Joe may assume that your parents are still paying your tuition (and for some of you that may be true). Whether it is true or not, the idea of a twenty-eight-year-old living off of her parents is not particularly flattering, even in an age of delayed adulthood.

With each passing year, this question becomes more and more awkward to answer. In a real sense, graduate school has the effect of pushing the trappings of adulthood further and further into your future (see Reasons 12 and 15), and this can begin to confound the expectations of adults who have known you all of your life. Furthermore, the longer that you spend as a graduate student—heavily invested in academic culture, but without the financial means to participate fully in the life of the middle class—the less you will be able to relate to the people of the outside world, and the less they will be able to relate to you.



37 comments:

  1. This isn't a good reason, I think. Who cares what relatives think? Simply answer bluntly that, yes, graduate school takes some time. If they draw incorrect conclusions regarding your degree of financial dependence, that's their problem. As for the problem of lacking the financial means to maintain relations with non-academic people, I wonder just how extravagant the author considers 25-35 year-old middle-class non-academic life to be. Attending a bring-your-own-bottle party is hardly prohibitive.

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    1. People need to mind their own business. This blog is too focused on bowing down to society's ideals about breeding and adulthood. A dog can breed. And it is no one's business whether I go to school for one year or thirty.

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    2. It matters to lots of people what their family and friends think about them, and up to a point that's healthy. How many of us could say we don't care even if most of them feel disrespect and contempt for us? Of course as terminal graduate student the feeling will just be that we are failures and they will summon up pity. It's easier to say you don't care than to not care. Especially if this feeling begins to arise from your spouse.

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    3. The problem here is that the American scheme has failed far too many young adults. They are expected to be successful without training, opportunity or education. Then when they are not, they are vilified as stupid, lazy, and incompetent. And everyone gets in on this act - the parents, the wives, the politicians, the employers, and the educators. Overall, this is a picture of a nation self-destructing, and one of the casualties is several generations of young adults who were viewed simultaneously as cash cows by the left, dimwitted liberals by the right, and unrealistic work-ethic-challenged nitwits by the majority - even as the economy contracted, immigration increased, and the workforce left out a fifth of the population.

      This is a sick nation, and it's not going to get better anytime soon.

      Delete
  2. I have heard the "You're still in school?" comment many times from relatives and acquaintances. I don't really care what they think, but after a while it does get to me. I spent 2 1/2 years on a master's degree, and this is my fifth (and hopefully final) year as a PhD student. I have really enjoyed most of it, but there comes a time to move on. Friends and acquaintances I knew in high school have been through law school and have already practiced law for a few years, or they are now medical residents, or they have had "real" jobs for a number of years, settled down and had a kid or two. When I see yet another batch of wide-eyed freshman come to campus, I realize that they were born in the 1990s, and I feel the generation gap. I am struggling to write my dissertation now, and wonder myself what I am still doing in school. So, when people actually ask me that, it hits close to home.

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  3. "This isn't a good reason, I think. Who cares what relatives think?"

    Well, yeah, but...actually, no. I agree that you need not care what relatives think, but you don't really know at the outset how long graduate school is going to take. And if you start a year or two or three...or six after finishing undergrad, you will find yourself in your mid thirties without an apporpriate social peer group. And it's not just your lack of money that makes things a little awkward. To be only a year out of grad school at 37 means you're stll only at a "formative" stage of your career. Do you socialize with the twenty-somethings you know who didn't go to grad school but who yet now earn 4X what you do as an adjunct? Do you socialize with the thirty-somethings who have their own houses and half-grown children and are, in their fields, "mid-career" professionals? It's really messed up in a way that you just don't appreciate when you're starting out, when you're all aglow and burning with that "hard. gemlike flame." Shun it, I say, shun it!

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  4. p.s. my word verification for that last comment was "sucki," which about says it all.

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  5. Anonymous #1 here. I see your point. This may sound pat, but my feeling is that if those mid-career people are worth socializing with, then professional class barriers shouldn't be an issue. The idea of socializing with people for whom class has such a homogenizing influence on the social group seems enormously boring.

    I'm actually planning to apostasize from graduate school relatively soon. But one thing I'm trying hard to do amid the psychological anguish that comes with separating myself from a culture that I've identified heart and soul with for the better part of half a decade is to not worry about other people's perceptions - in particular, to not worry about being seen as a failure or a dunce because I chose to renounce organized curricula. The sorts of perceptions discussed in this post ("Johnny's still in school? What a baby!") seem similarly irrelevant. Whether one chooses to stay or whether one chooses to quit, worrying about other people's kneejerk opinions only distracts from considerations (many of which are discussed in this blog) that really are worth thinking about.

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    1. If you are male and you want a highly sexually attractive female life partner, you better be mindful of the perceptions on how you can afford to bring up children, etc.

      One thing that bothers me about this blog and the comments is that so many of you are not only mostly tortured by your experiences, but you're mercifully unaware of how much more tortuous it would be if you actually cared about sleeping with, say, undergraduate women.

      Unless one of the benefits of being a grad student is that you do get to sleep with the hottest looking undergrad women.

      If that is the case, sorry for doubting your attractiveness to women because all 100 reasons not to be a grad student would have just become irrelevant whining to me. Carry on and enjoy yourself with those undergrads if they're into you.

      Get out of grad school now if undergrad women think of grad school males as unsuccessful and without good prospects.

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    2. Ha! I don't what this person is doing on this blog. Their comments are both hilarious and sad. I'm a grad student who is female (something I doubt the person above considers a possibility). Second, my PhD program is pretty damn tough. I don't have the time or energy to think about hooking up with anybody. And I can say the same for colleagues. Those of us who are single are likely doomed to remain so for some time. Those who are married are probably suffering their own problems. Third, why assume that attractive women want some guy to take care of them, and why assume they want children? I plan on taking care of myself, as I've always done, and I won't be having children. Whatever. Hilarious.

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    3. In regards to the hilarious and sad comments, I was referring to Anon October 9, 2012, 11:28am.

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  6. As much as I would like to believe that I don't care what other people think, I care. I don't want to care what they think, but I care. If nobody cared about what people thought of them, then nobody would buy a BMW.

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  7. "The sorts of perceptions discussed in this post ("Johnny's still in school? What a baby!") seem similarly irrelevant."

    See, the problem is that you not only have to deal with friends' and relatives' perceptions of you as "still in school" but far too many grad students (and recent PhDs) are literally dependent on family, spouses/partners, and maybe even some friends for financial support. So, the problem isn't as petty as you can/cannot afford to bring a bottle of wine to a party. Anonymous #1 says this: "If they draw incorrect conclusions regarding your degree of financial dependence, that's their problem." Actually, it's your problem, not theirs. You're the one who's going to have to pay back loans, whether to your parents or to banks. You're the one who is going to be emotionally indebted to your spouse/partner, even if s/he doesn't ask for financial reimbursement. Nobody goes for a PhD in the humanities because they expect to get rich or because they even care that much about money, but many people start too young to recognize how much it sucks to be 30 years old and financially dependent on other people. You can justify your choices any way you want (you "chose to renounce organized curricula" or whatever), but when you have to call up mom or dad and ask for help with your winter gas bill, because your drafty, cheap-ass apartment is cold and your gas is about to be shut off for lack of payment ('cause, you know, the gas bill is an extra $100 in the winter and your department only gave you 3 classes this semester instead of 4), let me tell you it sucks.

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  8. wow, like all your posts so much, especially this one. so tired of this question. "so what classes are you taking this fall? i don't take classes, I teach them, I'm in graduate school. oh, well when are you done? when i am done with my dissertation. when is that? about one to six years, depending on the market. oh. did you see that phillies game?"

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    1. Just tell them you're a teacher. Since they cant tell the difference anyways. And it's not lying because you are teaching classes and getting paid for it. (maybe not paid much, but no need for a bunch of details)

      Then say no, how did that game go? And the conversation will move on.

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  9. And, grad students, brutal honesty time: y'all can be wicked boring. Like, a lot. I recently bailed with my masters' and got a job with the feds, and I keep in touch with a lot of my grad school comrades. They're still strong friendships with good people, but they come over for dinner and spend 45 minutes rattling on about lab politics, the latest annoying undergrad, and the latest overwhelming setback in data analysis. It alienates me and I know what they're talking about; I can't imagine how family reacts. Grad school seems to instill a tediously self-absorbed frame of mind and it gets on everybody else's nerves.

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    1. I do disagree with you. It depends on who your friends are. Most of my friends are young working professionals. I find their cookie cutter lives and incessant chattering about office politics to be utterly boring and self-centered. 45 minutes? Try 4 hours of listening to every procedure they do with patients and how stressful it is.

      No matter what sector they are in, some people tend to talk endlessly about the minutia of their day and complaining about how much work it is. Eg., I have friends complaining for hours about teaching elementary school kids and having to grade a math or science assignment for 20 kids one day after school. Meanwhile, I have a class of 100 4th year undergraduate essay papers to get through over an ENTIRE weekend, on top of my other research and committee obligations.

      To this person, I just say: "Oh I know." and let them go on and on, and made a mental note to stop hanging out with them.

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  10. As the first person in my large immigrant family (i'm 2nd gen) to get (or even seek) a PhD, this has not been my experience at all. My whole extended family has been proud and encouraging all along. i am very fortunate, too, to have a partner that is completely supportive.

    People outside of the family have asked this question, sometimes in a rather aggressive fashion; but as others above have said, who cares what those people think?? Such questions can be deftly ignored, along with the "when will you start having babies?" question (which the elders in my family *do* ask me).

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    1. If youre that lucky then yes, grad school worked for you. But I'll tell you as a son of a immigrant couple that Phd's are over-valued in my family and only in a particular academic setting (physics, business, law). The rest is unimportant time wasting. I myself dont see their appreciation of Phd's in these fields.

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  11. "It alienates me and I know what they're talking about; I can't imagine how family reacts."

    The way you feel with your grad student friends is the way we grad students feel when we're with our non-student friends and family. I don't understand my friends when they talk about going to the gym every day and going out to dinner and going drinking every weekend; I'm pretty excited that I had enough money to pay off more than the minimum on my credit card this month, never mind a gym membership (which I would never have time to use anyway).


    And to the first poster:

    Many of us care about what our families think.

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  12. I think the author is geting at the simple fact that although academics may say that their cause is a noble one, it often ends up as a frivolous pursuit, often drowned by the very culture of the academic institution. Perhpas the problem is not so much that Uncle Bob no longer understands why you're still a student, but that if the passion has died or will be confined (as opposed to sparked!), what is the purpose? Why, then, are you still a student?

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    1. Wow, you hit the nail right on the head and through the board! Cheers.

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  13. Honestly, this "reason" does not apply to me. The majority of my relatives do not even have Bachelor's Degrees, much less Master's or Doctoral Degrees. My family is supportive of my educational quest and is proud of what I've accomplished.

    I will be the first person in my immediate family to complete a Bachelors, Master's and eventually, a Phd! I'm proud of work. I don't care what relatives think.

    As for money, I am qualified to complete freelance projects in two different fields already. I will not have to beg money off my family. I've been considering getting another Master's Degree before I enter a Doctoral Program in order that I can make a decent living while I'm writing.

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  14. "As for money, I am qualified to complete freelance projects in two different fields already."

    Well, good for you, but you say you are "qualified to complete frellance projects" not that you have actually done so yet. Grad students who are funded through teaching assignments don't make much money and don't have time to make extra money freelancing -- that is, if they're located somewhere where freelance writing (or whatever) gigs are even available. Grad students who are funded through fellowships, generous but sometimes not quite enough to live on, oftten have restrictions against working to earn money, because the fellowship is supposed to support spending all your time working on your dissertation, not making money.

    It's great that your family supports you, but you say that you "will" not have to beg money from them, not that you "do" not have to beg money from them or "did" not have to. The use of the future tense suggests you are imagining a more comfortable reality than you may actually find yourself in one day if you end up pursuing that Ph.D.

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  15. Most Asian families actually want you to get MORE school.

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    1. I guarantee you that this is not accurate.

      After all, "Better Red than educated" was a popular slogan only 50 years ago in mainland China.

      After the current generation of Chinese deals with the trauma of "degreed, indebted, but without work" (see, for example, "College Grads Are Jobless in China's 'High-Growth' Economy," Forbes 5/26/2013) look for a return to the norm there.

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    2. As an Asian-Canadian PhD student, this is actually true. My grandmother encouraged me to get my PhD, and as have my parents. Even my other grandmother, who only has a 3rd grade education, is proud of what I do. (Also, I got married in the middle of my degree, and is self-funded.) My relatives in China do think highly of my degree in health and medicine. The Chinese government actually has an initiative to bring highly educated (PhDers) overseas Chinese people to China for high skills jobs.

      The situation you are describing mainly extend to the undergrads IN China who went through their undergrads without any intention for higher degrees. Currently, many places are requiring Masters degree.

      I don't agree with these inflated standards, and think China will eventually experience what we have here. However, you are erroneous in your "guarantee".

      Also "better red than educated" had to do with the Cultural Revolution which was when the government policy only focused on agricultural growth. It is not the thought of common people. My parents were sent to the countryside for 3 years, and was only allowed to leave after they got into the first round of university entrance. You can ask anyone alive at that time how much they hated being held back from formal education.

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    3. My issue is with the phrase, "Most Asian families."

      This sweeping generalization includes Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalese, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Thais, Burmese, Indonesians, Malaysians, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Mongolians, Tibetans, Kazakhs, Uighurs, and a large number of tribal societies living throughout the region. Do these widely disparate ethnic and national groups, historically divided among several different religions, hold a single view on the benefits of school? I think not.

      Furthermore, I guarantee that even considering China alone, views on education are *and were* at best mixed, 不能 一概而論.

      All deference to your authentic ethnic experience, but you must understand that the experience of urban intelligentsia that emigrate from China is actually that of a relatively small subset of the Chinese population - and as a consequence not entirely representative.

      Yes, "better red than educated" is a slogan that emerged during the Cultural Revolution - I did say, 50 years ago. The question is whether it represents a total aberration from Chinese cultural norms, or whether it is to some degree representative. I think it cannot help but be representative in part - not least because the practices of "better red than educated" were certainly widely enforced - as you yourself point out.

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  16. The hardest part is explaining to family and friends that you really can't say when you will complete your degree. People imagine graduate study as professional study, so many years to complete.

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  17. As a first generation college student, this reason really hits home. The better part of a decade that I spent in academia (as an undergraduate and graduate student) posed constant challenges with my family. There was a consistent gap in understanding what I was doing with my life, my day-to-day world, and the larger picture of academic life. This is not to say that I did not have an incredibly supporting family who consistently vocalized how proud they were of me, but my life was shrouded in a lot of mystique.

    I've come across this issue time and again with my undergraduate students that are first generation and it is a distance that is only amplified by graduate school. There is no question that relationships can alter greatly when you're on a completely different path than the rest of your family.

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  18. As Bertrand Russell said in his "The Conquest of Happiness", a very important source of unhappiness is from families. Why should you care what your parents say? Their minds are just like the people on the streets. They almost never understand you, so why take their words seriously? And friends? You really should choose your friends very selectively.

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  19. Forget about completion. Wait til they ask how your jib search (now that you've spent those ten years getting you union card) is going. How soon will you be hired? Be sure to get a job close to home. Don't just settle for the first thing that comes along. Aren't you so proud now that you can support you family?

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  20. You know and I know this is a late comment and probably a pointless waste of time, but I don't think this is so much about caring what others think as it is a holy **** you are still in school and adult life such as marriage and kids and having some kind of life career has to this point passed you by.

    this is a point that is made worse if you get into grad school late such as age 30, which probably means you have spent 10 years or so going through undergrad school and failing at several kinds of jobs or maybe just one really long retail stint. this puts you at 36 or so, and basically just now starting life.

    to say it bluntly, you have basically spent half your life in soul sucking places and havent accomplished anything.

    I know because I am that 30 year old just now finishing undergrad school and have had to ask myself if I want to be that single 36 year old with a PHD. the answer is no I don't.

    and for you ladies.....let me be blunt. the world needs children and these children need their mothers and fathers. grad school will put destroy these plans. no you as a 30 year old seeking love which i might add has aged many more extra years because of grad school and the enormous stress it takes on your body, will not be in any kind of position to have kids. nor are you likely to have acquired the social skills men want in a wife.see the BS grad school will tell you ladies is that men want a well educated woman for a wife. this is a lie. we want a hot girl, with a brain, that knows how the run the house while we go out and take care of the bills. and of course the stress of having kids in your 30s for the first time is going to be exceptional on your body, there is a reason you become able to have children as a teenager. no a 14 year old probably shouldnt be having kids(though they did 100 years ago), but really by the time you are a 20 its a good idea. waiting till you hit your 30s to start is a serious toll on the body, not to mention given the choice, ill take a younger girl over an aging 35 year old any day. call it sexist, but its the truth.

    and what kind of father has time to be a father while at grad school? yeah none of you.

    furthermore I think the bible hits it out of the park when it says it is not good for man to be alone.

    it is not psychologically healthy to put off all of the things involved with becoming an adult of your species till you hit yours late 30s or even 30. you will not be well adjusted for these things and so you will ask and be asked why are you still in school? not out of spite or lack of understanding, but because most things that live and breathe that hit adulthood in their species are usually out doing adult things. school lends itself to your childish nature.

    when you are a child think like a child, but when you become an adult, put away such childish things. school is childish through and through.

    yeah i have to tell people i am 30 with my parents footing the bill, yep not damaging to my psyche at all /sarcasm.

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  21. RE: adam -
    1. be proud of you accomplishments.
    2. no matter what your education is, life is what you make of it. If you went into it thinking an undergrad will guarantee you a job, you are wrong. If you think being hot, insecure and boring will guarantee you a spouse, you are wrong. If you think having a job makes child rearing easier, you are wrong. If you think the 2 kids, a dog, and a house = adulthood, contributing member of society and happiness, you are wrong.
    3. please be respectful of other people's lifestyles, and know that everyone's situations are different.

    Education is something that no one can take away from you. This is something that is worth pursuing for many people like myself. Even if they have delay filling up their lives with frivolous things that some people think makes them "an adult" with a "real life". Things like a bigger house, children and mountain full of consumer debt.

    The real issue here is that no matter what you are doing, studying or working, maturity and adulthood comes from being self-aware and goal oriented. It is not a student = immature child.
    Not all grad students are the same. Not all grad experience are the same. If you ask any employee of any industry what the downside of their "real life" is, you will get a massive list including: "I am stuck doing something because I have to." or "I hate my job." This will happen no matter where you go.

    People who are successful are not stuck in other people's idea of what constitutes as “right” or "adult things". We are not bothered that bitter small minded individuals still exist, and by not having a lot of money (which most people had to get by sacrificing freedom and happiness for).

    For the record, I am a 29 year old PhD student who loved my experiences in my public health program. I have helped many people with Parkinson's disease access health services, and contributed to the completion of many projects in the field of aging. After I finish my 5th and final year this year, I will work in research and humanitarian care for at least a few months before applying for a post-doc. My goal is to work as a professor and/or a field epidemiologist.

    My husband and I got married while I was in my PhD program. He is not in academia, and is very emotionally supportive. No one is ever truly ready for kids, so we plan on trying next year, and co-parent while we develop our careers. I have many close friends and family. I have lived away from home since I was 18, worked throughout undergrad and my Masters, and saved enough that I never relied on others for living. During one of these jobs, I saw a person held back from a managerial position for having no PhD, and made a note to avoid this.
    My PhD taught me to love my simple, happy, goal oriented, and promising life. Many grad students share my feeling. Some of my friends may have more money than I have right now, but my earning potential in my field will surpass theirs quickly. Plus my ability to collaborate with others, study and make contributions to a field that I love, and potential to adapt are things that I would not trade for. I can’t imagine wanting to be the 30 years old who is saddled with a job that doesn't reward me intellectually, a mortgage that I gave up everything for, no social life, no ability to relate to people without materialistic traditional views, and no drive to see or learn more about the world. Yet, this is a lot of people I know. They judge others for not marrying, not having kids, not having goals that go beyond material goods. They may fit your vision of "adulthood" but their lives are far from the bliss that I want.
    I know I have been very fortunate. I also do not discredit that I got all that I have because I am a positive person who worked hard, knows what I want and became a problem solver. These are the only qualities that will make you a mature person, capable of a happy adult life. Education, or the lack thereof, will not.

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  22. "1. be proud of you accomplishments. "

    sound advice.

    "2. no matter what your education is, life is what you make of it."

    This is true, however circumcstances can be a very big determining factor, and since we are on this website, the stress of grad school can make people hate life with a burning a passion because it is a stress overload.

    " If you went into it thinking an undergrad will guarantee you a job, you are wrong. If you think being hot, insecure and boring will guarantee you a spouse, you are wrong. "

    heres the thing though, school sells you the notion that a degree = job. many people including myself believe this simply because we must or we face the insanity of realizing we have been lied to by everyone our entire lives. I have come to realize I was lied to about this.

    and I never said insecure and boring. and again if you think men dont want a hot wife, you are deluding yourself. but hot does not mean insecure and boring.


    "If you think having a job makes child rearing easier, you are wrong. If you think the 2 kids, a dog, and a house = adulthood, contributing member of society and happiness, you are wrong."

    ok this is blantant BS. a poor man cannot raise a child, not in America anyway. one needs money to raise children. even in poor countries, children who grow up in families without any means, suffer. children are not a cheap thing to have. they require, resources(often times this just translates to money), time, love, effort, patience, and countless other things.

    you are right 2 kids a dog and house doesnt instantly mean happiness. but it does play a role. having kids is part of fulfilling your adulthood. to have kids you need a secure house. and the dog, well who doesnt love having a dog? yes you can still have all this and be miserable, but it is a part of the whole picture.

    "Education is something that no one can take away from you."

    I've heard this line countless times. It is in a way BS and irrelevant. it is BS because the education system does not actually educate.

    " It is not a student = immature child. "

    actually it is. being a student keeps you in the childish mind set. you are never really forced to support yourself, make it on your own, and ultimately become a full functioning adult when you are stuck in student mode. you also never experience life because your entire life has been behind the walls of academia. part of being an adult is simply doing different things, and exploring the world. it is hard to explore when constantly reading some boring textbook. in all ways being the professional student stunts your adult maturity.

    "self-aware and goal oriented"

    a child can be self aware and goal oriented. this is not a marker of adulthood.

    "People who are successful are not stuck in other people's idea of what constitutes as “right” or "adult things"."

    indeed, then again I never said otherwise.

    "We are not bothered that bitter small minded individuals still exist, and by not having a lot of money (which most people had to get by sacrificing freedom and happiness for). "

    here we have a subtle admission you are successful, and an insult at me. apparently I am small minded. Yes I will agree money doesnt equal happiness but to say it is not neccessary, is a lie. as a graduate student yourself, I am going to guess and say you have lived a fairly crappy lifestyle or racked up a lot of debt. or rich mom and dad paid for it. either way, you espouse the idea of not needing a lot of money yet graduate school requires just that. a lot of money.

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  23. "For the record, I am a 29 year old PhD student who loved my experiences in my public health program. I have helped many people with Parkinson's disease access health services, and contributed to the completion of many projects in the field of aging. After I finish my 5th and final year this year, I will work in research and humanitarian care for at least a few months before applying for a post-doc. My goal is to work as a professor and/or a field epidemiologist. "

    see heres the thing, you cant enjoy the PHD program. how could anyone? who can enjoy writing a 300 page dissertation that no one on this planet will read save it be 2 people maybe?. who could enjoy all the stress of classes, poverty, low to no paying interships. how is any of that actually enjoyable? and how can any sane spouse support that? everything I have been able to read about grad school amounts to endless stress and headaches because of the aforementioned reasons. and that I have to ask....how can anyone enjoy that????

    "No one is ever truly ready for kids, "

    because western civilization has stopped preparing people for kids. in older days, daughters were taught by their mothers and grandmothers how to handle children. they were prepared. today we do not do that in the name of so called progress.

    "so we plan on trying next year, and co-parent while we develop our careers. "

    if you roam back to this blog....let me give you some advice.....STAY HOME WITH YOUR CHILDREN!!!!!!! for the same reason we do not seperate puppies from their mothers until 7 weeks, is the same reason you should stay home with your child for at least the first 5 years. and the next 5 years after that you should still be the primary caretaker. women seeking careers and having children do not mix becuase it is unhealthy for the child. mammals simply need their mothers early in their lives. Mothers must be willing to sacrifice all for the sake of their children, and fathers ought to support these mothers and provide a certain stablity and toughness as well, being a father requires work. but you mothers, you will be asked to do a thankless job, it will be hard work, it will be brutal and stressful. but this I say, when your child is an adult, and if your child is a fully functioning, happy, successful adult that makes a positive change in the world, know that it will be because YOU sacrificed to make this happen. part of that sacrifice will yes be pairing up with a good husband who will be a good father. you will know this when your child will look you in he eye as an adult of his own free will, mother and fathers day and his thanks will be sincere, in his actions, his words, his emotions. when this happens you have succeeded.

    and if you have boys....for the love of all things, do not circumcise. it is an unholy abomination. do not do it. the foreskin is quite useful and is supposed to be there. God/nature/evolution made no mistake sticking foreskin there.

    "I have lived away from home since I was 18, worked throughout undergrad and my Masters, and saved enough that I never relied on others for living. "

    Ok, no you didnt. how did you do this? what 18 year old knows how to save money? furthermore how did you start school at 18 and not take out any loans for anything including your PhD and masters? something doesnt add up unless mom and dad footed the bill. I know grants and stuff can exis for undergrad(but even then that isnt a guarantee to cover it all), but grad school?

    see i hear this claim a lot. "I'm going to school full time, working full time, and Im even getting married oh and Im getting A's". ok the human body just cannot handle all of that stress thrown together. where are you people getting the time for this? we paying people to write your essays????

    "My PhD taught me to love my simple, happy, goal oriented, and promising life."

    never once, in 18 years of school, have i heard this message. not once.

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  24. "Many grad students share my feeling."

    this blog disagrees.

    "Some of my friends may have more money than I have right now, but my earning potential in my field will surpass theirs quickly"

    this is a myth. it may or may not be true. you take a huge gamble, and if you take my advice and please I hope you do, when you have children your PhD will be of no value making this a lot of wasted time and effort.

    "I can’t imagine wanting to be the 30 years old who is saddled with a job that doesn't reward me intellectually, a mortgage that I gave up everything for, no social life, no ability to relate to people without materialistic traditional views, and no drive to see or learn more about the world"

    I agree and that is precisely why I am not that person yet.

    "They judge others for not marrying, not having kids,"

    as stated, this is a part of adulthood. it is just simply a part of it. it is not good for man to be alone. we are social creatures. we have a natural drive to pair up with someone of the opposite sex like every other creature on this planet. I know your years of brainwashing in school have told you otherwise, but school has told many lies, and this is why we will not see eye to eye. you are still trusting your textbooks, whereas I have seen them as the liars that they are. you still think the emperor has clothes, yet I see him naked. I am the sighted man in country of the blind, you are a blind man. until you reclaim your sight, you forever think I am crazy.

    and that is part of the problem, school brainwashes you into one way of thinking. it discourages critical thinking. it discourages looking outside the box. and as far as medical schools go? they've sold one of the biggest lies in history, that the foreskin is a useless piece of skin(fun fact it has 20,000 nerves in it)

    really take a long good hard look at that medical institution you want to be a part of. it is so full of utter shit, its laughable. the medical institution is so full of blood money its laughable, well ok it is more sad than laughable. most of our medical advancements are because of the nazis and japanese torturing humans in cruel experiements. infant boys get mutilated or circumcused as we call it and the foreskin is used in a billion dollar anti aging cream industry and we sell these mutilated men viagra products because in not so shocking news, a mutilated penis has a hard time with sex. we give any child who acts up in school, medicine that affects their young and developing brains. i could go on and on, but the medicial institution is so full of utter shit its sad.

    and continuing with advancements, this still says nothing with all the animals we torture yearly in the name of science.

    you want to help people? help them see the lies of this establishment. seek real cures whereever they are. take schizoprenia patients. we can either sell them a 40 year old, much cheaper pretty effective medicine, or the newer one that costs an arm and a leg, that may not even as effective as the old stuff. well we all know which one you will sell? why will you sell the more expensive one? simple, its the only way to get funding for your research.

    "I am a positive person who worked hard, knows what I want and became a problem solver. These are the only qualities that will make you a mature person, capable of a happy adult life. Education, or the lack thereof, will not."

    yet oddly you speak truth here.

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