As kids we looked forward to summer break. Squinting our eyes to avoid the bright sun, laying on beaches with sand between our toes. The freedom to live life without concern, to connect with friends, and to make memories that last a lifetime. We couldn’t wait for summer. We started thinking about it as soon as the excitement of the first day of school wore off…which usually happened around day two. At least, that’s how I remember my childhood summers.
Most of us still look forward to summer but the truth is “Adulting” has made it a little less special. That’s mostly true for my friends and family members who complain about the lack of vacation time. But, if you are in academia summer still has its luster. Ohh the luster does shine so bright. There is a popular, but false, perception that us professor don’t work in the summer. What summer does provide is flexibility and freedom. For me, the most important freedom summer provides is the ability to reflect over the past year and define how I’ll move forward starting August. In academia summer is my New Year. I love the chance to reinvent myself, redefine my goals, and create a better version of myself.
Write more. I miss writing for a general audience. Academic writing gets boring after a while, and what’s the point if you can’t share all the exciting things you are working on with EVERYONE!
Similar to my writing goal, I want to read for fun. I’m sure I will still find the economics lessons in my readings, but I want to read without care. I want to read without taking notes, without trying to figure out how this connects to class or research. Sometimes the mind needs to wander so that it can wonder and find new interests.
My goal is to invest more in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky community. I’m in a great area, a lot is going on and I want to go out and enjoy what it has to offer. I also think its important for my work to extend beyond NKU.
My health took at back seat the past 10 years. I earned my Ph.D and accepted a tenure track career. My physical and mental health was not a priority. It is time to incorporate quality sleep, exercise, and vacation/break time. Insert economics in everyday life: diminishing marginal productivity.
There is such a thing as too many conferences. To be more accurate, there is such a thing as too many of the same type of conference. I attended 6 conferences last year and all were geared towards economics or economic education. It’s great to listen to new ideas and I love meeting new and old friends, but 6 is too much. When you pay for most of them out of pocket it can get expensive.
What changes will you make for the academic year of 2016-2017? For those of you not in academia, today is the beginning of a new year, reinvent yourself.