There’s a common myth amongst the broader community that those of us in academia have months of vacation when the academic year ends and students go home for the summer. Yet nothing can be further from the truth. Often times, the summer months are some of the most busy for academics. With university out of session, it’s a time for academics to write, conduct research, and visit archives. In fact, this is often the most production period of the entire academic year. Academics are working year-round to advance their research and their careers.
As a graduate student, it’s no different. This summer, I’ve got some major plans I’m looking to carry out. Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be my largest obstacle, I’m hoping that with the ongoing successful vaccination programme here in the UK and in my home country of the United States, I’ll be able to head home for some time and get some research done in several archives across the US. Of course, that depends on whether archives reopen despite more Americans getting vaccinated, and the jury is still out on that one. As of this writing, none of the archives in the US I need to visit for my dissertation are open yet. It’s definitely frustrating for my degree, but obviously understandable why this is the case. That being said, the picture might look very different in a month’s time.
Aside from archival research, I’m supposed to attend a seminar for graduate students studying U.S. foreign relations and national security policy in the Colorado Rockies. I’m really looking forward to this experience, which brings together around 20 PhD candidates and top scholars to talk about all sorts of academic and policymaking issues related to U.S. foreign policy. Most importantly, I’m looking forward to meeting new people and seeing folks in person again, a welcome change of pace from over a year of being mostly at home. Besides that, I will be visiting my family in my home state of Florida for a few weeks, which will be great after being away from them for so long.
It’s going to be a busy summer of (hopefully) research, writing, and new opportunities. Despite the ongoing pandemic challenges, I’m looking forward to getting some work done and having new experiences.