Reflecting on how much I paid for this degree, my education is the most expensive thing I own but I’m not sure if it’s the most valuable.
This is always the most salient to me when my partner and I pool our cash to make rent every month;
or when I go grocery shopping and instinctively reach for home brands every time;
or when I remember that while “PhD Candidate” sounds fancy, I actually am without a stipend or scholarship and am “unemployed”.
And then I am also reminded of the awkward transit between my thesis submission and my first job, and I get a little more anxious.
So forgive me when I feel a little queasy, whenever people with actual jobs ask me to do unpaid work because exposure because experience because I need a pretty CV.