Professor Mum: On being raised by an academic

How is it like to grow up with Professor Mum? And what if you decide to study in the same area and end up seeing your mum on campus and have to dodge being her student? This is my experience of growing up with an academic at home.

I am aware of how privileged I sound. Most of my friends back home were the first ones in their family to go to university, as this is the reality for most people. I come from an extremely overachieving family, especially in intellectual terms. My dad did three undergraduate courses. My mother was a professor of Linguistics. All of her six siblings graduated university, 3 have PhDs, and two are full-on professors. My grandmother actually studied at the same university I went to, a feat that can make my academic achievements small in comparison. I grew up surrounded by professors; I went to their birthday parties, weddings, only to years later have them teaching me in a university classroom. Sounds fun? It can be, but it can also be a lot of pressure.

A child at conferences

My childhood was pretty chill, but as my imagination was wild, I liked to lie to people that my horrible parents took me to conferences and concerts (my dad is a musician), and had me out all night, making me sleep inside the…

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