Call for Stories: (Why) Does Academic Rejection Hurt More?

by Rebecca Schuman

There has been a lot of interesting, productive talk on this blog in the past months about why–and sometimes if–rejection from the academic job market is more painful than other forms of rejection. It certainly was for me. I’ve been told “no” and reminded of my own mediocrity from a very young age; I cut my teeth in the media world of New York, where even getting someone to pay attention to you long enough to reject you is considered a mild victory. I’ve been heartbroken and told I’m fat (not by the same person, luckily); I’ve been told I’m dumb by more randos than I can count (if you’ve never had the unique pleasure of someone who is less intelligent than you by considerable measure calling you “dumb” because they do not understand the words that is coming out of your mouth, you haven’t lived). And yet, the academic job market destroyed me in a way that none of this ever had. I want to know: was this the same for you, and if so, why? If not, why not?

Please leave stories in comments or email me anything you want; know that your story, but not your name, may be used for publication, so do keep as much or as little identifying info in there as you wish.

Thank you!