1. An entire generation has been led to believe it’s the only path to financial success.

2. Your grandparents have no idea what it is you do, and it’s not worth trying to explain it to them.

3. Almost all of the money in the industry comes from attracting sponsorships.

4. You have to be prepared to defend your work in front of a hostile audience, looking for any excuse to tear it apart.

5. A key aspect involves replicating the findings of others to determine if they’re “real or cap.”

6. Conservatives are convinced that whatever you’re doing is somehow helping China.

7. The whole system relies on people doing thousands of hours of unpaid work.

8. There’s a good chance someone else will get all of the credit and notoriety for an idea you came up with.

9. Behind the scenes, a large tech company is providing funding and pulling the strings.

10. Odds are you’re living with—or will soon be living with—your parents.

11. It’s depressing how much younger (and more talented) some of your peers are.

12. You have to learn an entire new set of vocabulary, including words and phrases like “dissertation,” “practicum,” and “skibidi toilet.”

13. Most of your work never seems to get seen by anyone.

14. You’re the sibling everyone in your family is a little bit worried about.

15. Large numbers of practitioners are competing for a limited number of gigs that actually pay money.

16. The people you report to constantly demand that you publish new material.

17. The most reliable way to make an impact in your field is by quickly hopping onto whatever the latest trend is.

18. You’re reassured by the fact that society places a lot of cultural value on the kind of work you do.

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Both: 1–17
Making TikToks: 18