15 Signs You’re Definitely At An Academic Conference

Paul Hudson
Paul Hudson

1. Someone gives a 15-minute talk comprised wholly of 52 slides with pink text on a green background.

2. When there’s nearly nothing more exciting to you than 30% off at the book fair.

3. You secretly know that conferences are really excuses for you to cancel class and travel to exotic locations, let’s be real. Oh, don’t front. Maybe you’ll pump through to a panel or two. Maybe.

4. As soon as you get on the hotel wifi the first thing you do is open up Grindr. Yes, yes! Conferences are an excuse to change ideas, sure, but they are also an opportunity to hook up with hot scholars from all over the world, too!

5. Your panel is today and you still have not written your paper.

6. During a panel with one of your idol scholars you live Tweet brilliant things they say and comment on how moved you are.

7. In all cases the conference hotel lobby becomes your personal office as you sit there surrounded by cocktails, empty glasses of wine and all the grading you’re meant to do or that journal article you’re trying to finish.

8. When you know there’s nothing worse than the ONE panel you were so looking forward to turning out to be a complete and total let down.

9. Someone you know is wildly freaking out because not only are they giving a paper but they are also being interviewed for a high profile job SO MUCH AT STAKE OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD.

10. There’s something about going to conferences that makes you feel even more motivated to write. Talking with other scholars, hearing what they’re working on, seeing all the book fairs, coming up with ideas of cool things you could do together, all this turns you all the way on. If only you could bottle that motivation and take it back with you when you leave you might finally get those projects finished!

11. During the Q+A someone, likely a person who fell asleep in the audience, pops back to life long enough to foam at the mouth about something no one in the room understands.

12. Before your presentation you make sure that every single one of your porn tabs is closed/the Amazon page for super anti-fungal toe creams is completely x’ed out.

13. You have conference buddies, friends you only get to see once a year at the annual meeting. When you see each other again it’s like no time has passed at all.

14. And speaking of conference buddies, no conference is complete without a “conference boo,” someone you met at the conference who you talked to after a panel and who totally becomes your boo for the next two days.

15. You’re on the verge of falling asleep in a panel and do that thing where you’re definitely falling asleep but try to play it off like you’re definitely not sleeping. That or you text your friend about how such-in-such Very Important Senior Scholar has fallen asleep during a panel. Dayom! But falling asleep in a panel has happened to every single one of us. Sometimes a betch just needs a nap. TC mark

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