Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Applying the 80/20 relationship rule to Academia...

So, I have a paper due tomorrow, but of course I'm procrastinating, hence me writing this blog. This topic has been on my mind for about a week and a half now. If you've read my blog in the past you know that I liken my relationship in academia to that of a romantic relationship a lot. This topic is no different.

What's the 80/20 rule?

"In our relationships, our partner is most likely only able to offer 80% of what we need. There are times when we will find someone who fills in the wholes, offering the other 20%…and because it’s been missing for so long, you think you’ve finally found what you truly need. But be carefully taking risks of cheating, or leaving your 80%…because what you will be left with, is that 20%. Obviously this is no where near as fulfilling as being with someone who offers 80%."

When your relationship is going great you rarely miss the other 20%, but when it gets rocky you meet someone who offers that 20% without realizing that they're lacking the 80% your other half provides you with. So, how does this all relate back to academia?

The last few weeks have been trying in my academic career... I've had to deal w/ some things that I wasn't prepared for at all and it had me contemplating quitting. I have had serious thoughts about waiting for my Master's to be official and heading out onto the job market just to get away. I even told my mom and my significant other that I needed a break from this world... but then I thought about all my friends who complain about their jobs (not careers)... many of them are in the process of applying for graduate programs and envy where I am right now.

I realized that right now I'm unhappy w/ my relationship w/ academia right now, so anything else looks better, but is it really worth it? Is it worth it to quit the PhD program and get a non-tenure track job? Would quitting and getting a job be the 20% or the 80% for me? I'm convinced that quitting would not only be a cop-out it would also be the 20%, and a few years down the line I would be crying that I didn't finish the PhD.

So, I'm sticking it out w/ my 80%... I'm gonna keep pushing and working on the relationship to ensure myself happiness :)

I think I'm going to start applying this rule to a lot of different things in my life... what about you? Do you believe the 80/20 rule is real? What part of your life does this apply too at the moment?


Anonymous said...

I would do the same thing you are doing. :)

I like reading your blog.

I am a young black female junior at an elite, very dominant, very white, university, and I hope to enter into a Ph.D program in my early twenties too.

Please keep blogging! :)

The Black Kat said...

"but then I thought about all my friends who complain about their jobs (not careers)..." -- There is absolutely a difference. =o)

Stay the course on what YOU think is best for you. I'm def a fan of you staying in school. It's one of the things I admire about you, btw. Your persistence & determination.

The 80/20 rule, in essence, is a matter of weighing the pros & cons and going with the better option. I apply that to everything in life. =o)

Have a fab day, sis! Hugs & Love...

Rochelle W. said...

Danielle, keep doing what you're doing! The fact that you're enjoying it 80% is a miracle! Anyway, the Ph.D is hard! I got mine a month after turning 30, but thought I'd be done a long time (years) before that. It's not only intellectually challenging but emotionally challenging --it was NOT the best mental health of my life! But it was worth it! And just know that everything you are going through plenty of us went through before you and you can do it!!! And, it's soooo worth it!