Well, kids, the time has come.

I’m beginning the official job search.

*pause, deep breath, shudder, continue*

It’s an incredibly exciting prospect (“I get to, like, teach people and do research, and get paid above the federal poverty level to do so!”), but also one that terrifies the everlasting hell out of me.

It’s no secret that our economy is rather in the latrine at the moment, and that state-funded schools are being hit pretty hard with furloughs, hiring freezes, and the whole bit. Private schools haven’t fared much better, though some are surviving, but that’s not what bothers me most. No, my biggest worry is that ultimately, after all my years of education and all of my blood, sweat, and tears, that I will find out that I’m a complete idiot unworthy of anything more rewarding than, “Do you want fries with that?” My internal monologue consists of the following:

Why would anyone want to hire me? First, I’m not really all that smart. Sure, I did well in high school, performed pretty well in college despite my slacking and periods of quasi-adolescent instability, and I have grown as a scholar in grad school, but if you asked my friends to describe me, “smart” would probably not top their list. I’ve done A LOT of dumb things that still make me cringe weeks/months/years later.

OR

Why in the hell would any university worth its salt want some 28-year-old woman from Alabama who says things like “might could” and “y’all” to impart wisdom and guidance to this generation’s best and brightest? Given the choice between some Harvard/Michigan/Wisconsin/etc. grad and me, there’s absolutely no question who they would (and should) pick.

OR (my favorite)

This has all been a gigantic and elaborate ruse. I am indeed so stupid and clueless that all of my professors and my advisor have taken pity on me and just want me done and out the door. They probably lose sleep at night knowing that I will be traipsing the Earth with a Ph.D. from their employer, and that they were complicit in this crime.

I obviously have issues.

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