The other day a colleague of mine pointed out an interesting trend – students referring to the years between college and graduate school as “time off.” As my colleague astutely claimed, “it’s not called ‘time off,’ it’s called work!” As a member of this generation, it’s not altogether surprising to me that I failed to recognize this absurd characterization of “life-after-college” on my own, but that didn’t stop me from sharing her outrage over the use of this terminology.
For one thing, “taking time off” insinuates that work is a privilege, even a vacation of sorts. Trust me, it’s not (and this is coming from someone who really does love her job). Additionally, it suggests that not only is there a finite end to “work,” but assumes that graduate school is a given (again, it’s not). Have other noticed this trend? What do you think about students referring to post-graduate work as “taking time off?”