Wenx’ World: Wrong. Just Wrong.

Something here is going horribly wrong. And it is about money and education and lifestyle. But let me start at the beginning. The whole topic showed up at a dinner: The freshly graduated Post-Doc is not making enough money in his new project to finance himself and his wife. And the About-To-Finish PhD is looking at admin and/or library jobs to live on after graduation.

It was then followed up by a lunch talk a day later when another About-To-Finish PhD was looking at working in retail (again) on top of her PhD, because her scholarship was running out and how else is she gonna survive?

I enquired, apparently all options, such as research projects, teaching and tutoring, were unsuccessfully milked and noone wants to turn back to their parents to ask for money like we did in high school. But then, working in retail, isn’t that exactly what we did in high school? Has nothing changed in all those years of studying? After all we loaded our brain with roughly 9 years of knowledge. And now those guys were telling me that it’s been useless so far?

All the questioning was topped off by another encounter I had: A good looking, young Canadian guy was bluntly bragging in my face how he did not even finish high school but has been able to live and work in Australia (yes, legally) for nearly three years. So this guy had nearly no education, but made it through immigration and was living his dream and living it well! It made me wonder: What have we done wrong and what is wrong in the system that people with less education get the better lifestyle/jobs? Money is a constant topic within postgraduates circuits. A friend of mine finished her PhD a year ago and is still worried about money. In fact, she has been so short on money that she returned to uni for tutoring swallowing the fact that she worked so hard to just get out of here. At times it seems, that PhD does not get you a better job at all, in fact, employers might even consider you overqualified (and hence you are expensive). Not even to mention the fact that my superannuation fund is nearly empty… All of this seems wrong. Illogical. Just wrong.

And I am happy to personally ignore it for as far as I can. I am lucky I am not (yet) in a situation where I have to worry about money. In fact, I just started dreaming about pocketing my PhD and heading off to travel South America.

Hasta la victoria siempre! – Wenx