I was an economics major, and I definitely have a desire to earn a high income. It's an interesting question, whether or not the econ major influenced that, since I definitely didn't feel that way coming into college. For me, I think that what changed was a much more acute awareness of what a raw deal everyone except the very highest earners are getting in this economy. Some of that came from studying economics in the midst of the great recession, sure, but I think the bigger factor was just experiencing the effects of income inequality firsthand in a way that I hadn't before. I started witnessing the limiting factors of money and class - having to turn down colleges due to inadequate financial aid, having to choose internships that paid well and allowed me to live at home, etc. I think it was really the interaction between that and studying economics that had the impact on my attitude - economics gave me the framework to understand the structural reasons behind the inequality I was witnessing. It probably caused me to spend more time thinking critically about whether or not I was really wanted to be middle-class in a country where the economic policy screws them over so badly. Not to mention that the econ major ultimately gave me the ability to choose a higher income path. I ultimately concluded that, given I was in an absurdly privileged position to climb up into the class of extremely high-earners, I was just a little too cynical not to go for it.
I often wonder how long those productivity gains from cutting out distractions would last. At least at first, I definitely buy the argument that cutting down hours from, say, 40 to 35 would make people just waste less time and get the same amount done. But wouldn't people just start getting used to 35 hours as being the new benchmark the way 40 used to be, and start building those distractions back in? I'm pretty sure procrastination is just part of most people's makeup . . .
@Caitlin with a C Oh my god. I was already in love with this entire thread, but "Statistically Significant Other" was really the icing on the cake. (Everyone already said the things I would have; basically my go-to line is "I'll change my name if and only if you change yours.") (Though that is actually a lie, because my future significant other is more than welcome to take my name but I am changing mine over my dead body.)
@Renleigh Yes, same!
@halloliebchen Just joining the chorus of introverts who are horrified by the idea of hosting someone for one weekend a month . . . you definitely should not feel bad!
I can't have been the only one picturing the dog-walking episode of Broad City during this entire piece, right?
@Vodka Queen Yes, this. If anything, I am embarrassed to carry mine in DC where they are so common as to be a bit tasteless. But I love that mine is 1) durable, 2) zips completely closed, and 3) is extremely waterproof. I don't have a car so I am often walking in the rain/snow/whatever, and it is so nice to just zip it up and know that any papers/books/whatever won't become a soggy mess, and I won't worry about wrecking the material like I would with a nice leather bag.
@andnowlights I work with a lot of Phds and they definitely give that advice, along with the corollary: "unless, on your deathbed, you will be filled with regret that you never got a Phd, don't do it."
@ceereelyo I had no idea Halogen was a Nordstrom brand! But that makes a lot of sense. Last Call is also really fantastic for quality leather handbags - I think I've now bought my last three purses there, for at least half off the retail price.
@wrappedupinbooks Wait, how high are the rates? I thought I looked this up a while ago and they were like 8% . . . now I'm worried! (Not in grad school but might be soon.)