Thank you! This article just crystallizes why I've never been able to make it through On the Road. I grew up hearing my baby boomer Dad's glorious stories of hitchhiking in the 60s with no money, of working for a few months then taking off for Turkey, or Hawaii, with nothing but a backpack. There is so much romanticization of that 60s male, coming-of-age story through travel and the rejection of "square" domesticity. It can make the reality of having to work & pay the bills & follow a routine to care for yourself in this post-2008 economy seem deeply unromantic in contrast.
The 60s seem like they were really great for privileged white dudes who got to reject the oppressive mores of their parents while simultaneously riding the sweet wave of the booming postwar economy... Thank you for telling this woman's story. Love the Toast.
Question... I see so many of these "Get out of grad school" advice columns. I received the warning from my advisor in college about all the sacrifices a PhD would require. I am two years out a Humanities degree. I work full-time in the fine dining industry and it pays my bills, but I feel underemployed, drained by a physical, servile job, no outlet for creativity/intellectualism. My job is fun, very fun, at times. But it's also crazy. My coworkers are all neurotic noncomformists with coke problems (a good and bad thing) But I'm worried about getting trapped, and I fantasize about grad school.
Can someone talk about how they resisted their strong urge to go to grad school in the first place, based on all these cautionary tales? And how did you then cobble an at least vaguely intellectually stimulating career together?
Do I admin assist? Do I get my teaching certification and teach high school english in an overburdened public school system? Do I try to get a marketing/copywriting job in the tech industry with my writing skills?
Note: I do not have financial help from parents. I already pay $300/month for my undergrad student loans. I make about $40,000 now in the restaurant industry (fine dining is alright).
Because grad school seems a lot more appealing than bussing tables--which is what I do for a living! For people who read that book "What are you going to do with that?"-- how do you get a job in that vein without even starting the PhD that you then leave. Please help with my existential angst, thanks.
Word. I've had some success with comedian memoirs before bed. Jen Kirkman, Mindy Kaling, Patton Oswalt....all funny & light but still interesting to read.