As it is crunch time in academia land, I am surrounded by people struggling to meet their ambitions/obligations in the face of the hard deadlines. I have to admit that there are times in the year when being a student isn’t very demanding: flexible hours, freedom to cut corners, and creative opportunities abound. But these are broken up by periods of overdrive, when finding places to nap in the lab or library seems more reasonable than going home or eating. This rollercoaster effort creates difficult demands on our willpower, to say the least. Which makes me wonder: are the people drawn to academia particularly suited for this kind of exertion oscillation, or are they just living with it for the sake of the other benifits?
Come to think of it, how am I to know if this is normal or abnormal career investment? Is school harder than most peoples work?
The answer is probably that it depends on what and who, but either way, here’s to hoping that the work is worth doing.