Older and more mature, or a loser with no ambition?
First some background and then I'll get to the point.
I'm a 23-year-old first year grad student in psychology. Back when I was an undergrad I wanted to get all A's all the time, and school and "preparing for my future" were basically my whole life. Working hard meant everything to me.
These days I don't really care about all of that. Don't get me wrong- I still want to do well in my classes, with my research, and with teaching, but it's more for taking pride in what I do than for the sheer joy of it all. When I look at my future, instead of thinking about how great my research projects are going to be or how I'm going to be a great prof, I think about living somewhere warm, riding a lot of bike, and hanging out with my girlfriend. A thesis and a dissertation just don't sound fun to me anymore. My goals have changed. I'm all about having fun.
I'm in a PhD program, but I plan on quitting next year after I get my Master's. By that time my girlfriend will have graduated and we plan on going in the Peace Corps for 2 years. Returning Peace Corps volunteers get some nice benefits, and one of those is that they can apply for government jobs without competition. Basically, if they're qualified for the job they'll get it. I find myself thinking, "Why don't I just get a government job when I get back?" I could be a mail carrier and I honestly think I'd be just as happy as If I were a prof.
So what's going on here? Have I turned lazy? Have I grown up and found out that there's more to life than work? Am I what's wrong with America?