When I got into blogs a year and a half ago, I was entering my last semester of college and staring out into the void of What Am I Going To Do Now? Since I'm such a nerd and such a bookworm, I was really thinking I'd go to grad school and become an English professor. Therefore, I made a conscious decision to read a lot of academic blogs (a number of which are linked in the sidebar). Not only was I genuinely interested in the subjects they write about, but I thought it would give me a better idea of the lay of the land of my possible career.
Reading the academic blogs, though, had an unforeseen side-effect: I realized I was totally not cut out to walk amidst the groves of academe. Every workplace or institution is full of politics and petty jealousies, that is human nature, but the sheer viciousness and bloodthirstyness of academia is astounding. And I realized that isn't all reading and Thinking Thoughts, but a lot of bureaucratic bullcrap, often not very well-paid. The job market being what it is, there's no guarantee you'll even have a job in the end; even if you get a job, you'll probably have to move around a lot, which, for a person of a change-averse character such as mine, isn't a very attractive prospect. The grad school experience sounds absolutely dire, incestuous and emotionally abusive. All of this is Not For Me, so I decided that academia just wasn't in the cards.
Though I've now gone off the idea, I do wonder if my reasons were good. I mean, the point of blogs is, partly, to bitch and moan. And I might not have read a representative sample. Maybe most professors are happy and contented, had a great time at grad school, had no problems writing their thesis, find a job easily, love teaching, while still doing meaningful research, like their colleagues, and enjoy a happy and balanced home life. I kinda doubt it, but it could be possible. Did I let the academic blogs turn me off something I should have gone for? Just thinking.