On Starting a Theoretical Physics Ph.D.

Re-statement of Purpose, but fewer (fancy) words.

Perhaps one of the most significant lessons I’ve had in the first half of 2020 is the conceptual decoupling between academic aptitude and the other stuff I’ve been raised to value (and expect) from academia: intellectual fulfillment, character integrity, interpersonal amiability, risk resistance, etc.

As someone who usually pride himself for thinking and learning, I’ve discovered this disconnect awfully late, haven’t I?

A month into the first phase of my doctoral studies, I am slightly relieved to state that — though I once thought the former was my shortcut to achieving the latter, and though I have since been aware that alternative opportunities for life fulfillment abound — at this point in my life, I can continue to proceed along this chosen path in physics with all my passion.

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