Scary myths and scary data abound about life as a tenure-track faculty at an "R1" university.Scary enough to make you wonder: why would any smart person want to live this life? And I can't blame them for asking, because I am scared by those myths too.
Of course, I said all these things without any proof that they lead to success, but with every proof that they led me to enjoy the life I was living. Several of my close friends challenged me to write this down, saying that that I owed it to them.
They told me that such things were not done and were not standard. But what is definitely true, is that we rarely talk about what we actually do behind the scenes to cope with life. I've enjoyed my seven years as junior faculty tremendously, quietly playing the game the only way I knew how to.
But recently I've seen several of my very talented friends become miserable in this job, and many more talented friends opt out.
I feel that one of the culprits is our reluctance to openly acknowledge how we find balance.
Or openly confront how we create a system that admires and rewards extreme imbalance.