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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The PostGraduate Woman

A couple of weeks ago, I finally committed to applying to grad schools within the next year. It happened when the former president of the APA (American Psychological Association) came and spoke to our department. She was there to discuss three main things: women in the workplace, the theories behind successful teaching, and working with the APA. Before she was worked for the APA, her time and efforts were spent studying the lives of extremely successful women in the United States and China. She wanted to know how they balanced a straining career with a home life.
These topics were interesting, but what really interested me was the conversation that followed between her and her audience. She turned the question of balancing a work life and a home life to us. She wanted to know if we, as college undergrads, had thought about this. Four women raised their hands and answered yes. They each had different reasons or worries, but each one had thought about the give and take between their future careers and their future families. The two men who volunteered to answer had also put some thought to the subject, but both agreed that they would advance their careers before having a family. Not entirely surprising, but it is still interesting to me that not only had the men thought about how their futures in this way, but they would choose to forego a family for their careers. 
The women who spoke, the women who I spoke with after her talk, as well as my self, all agreed that our futures would (hopefully) include having a family. Perhaps we felt the pressure to balance our careers with this hope because there seems to be a timeline on when its appropriate to be the mother of young children, but there isn’t one for fathers. Whether or not that is actually the case, we’ve planned our futures with that idea in mind. It was with this realization that I realized I had now committed to grad school. I never had any doubts about going to grad school, but I didn't know what my timeline would be. It also seemed daunting/stressful to commit when I had no idea where my studies would take me. I still am not sure I know what I want to do when I grow up, but I do know that I want to have it all. The family, the career, whatever this good life has to offer, and I’m not going to waste any time making that happen.  


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