So this is the moment everyone warned me about:
I am not making (enough) progress on my dissertation, and I am simultaneously beginning to start counting how many months of funding are left for me to complete it.
My students surf the internet during the one special lesson I was looking forward to all year, or they react in a passive-aggressive manner to pretty much everything I do to get them to participate – from “listen, this will help you prepare for the exam and also be useful anyway” to playing devil’s advocate in a discussion.
At the same time, some of my friends start families or buy houses, and even among the ones who studied subjects similarly branded as “useless”, there are now people whose salary exceeds mine by around 1000€ a month.
Working in academia has been one of my biggest dreams, but I reached the point where the thought of leaving it behind hardly hurts anymore.