Why I like being an academic

The beginnings of a list:

  1. You can work on intellectually interesting problems.
  2. Almost everyone you work with is smart: other academics and the students.
  3. It’s great to see a student suddenly understand something new.
  4. It’s great to understand something new myself. Learning is fun, and that is what I mainly do.
  5. Freedom. I set my hours (mainly) and my schedule. The flexibility is great. I can run mid-afternoon if I want.
  6. The pay is good.
  7. My academic work has the potential for a practical payoff–I could have a real impact on the world (not yet, but maybe one day.)
  8. The topics I work on are fascinating to me.
  9. Besides being smart, most other academics I deal with are reasonable people (although most does not equal all.)
  10. In general, it is fun: you can be playful with it.
  11. Most of the other people I deal with are pretty much geeks in the same way that I am. I am not weird, and I couldn’t really say that until I entered grad school.

I am sure that I will think of more reasons, too.

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