>So I’m putting together my tenure file — writing my narratives, gathering stuff for the supporting documents, polishing my CV — and I keep sweating the details, the petty stuff. And each time I do, I keep imagining some faceless person I don’t know on the college or university level saying, “But she hasn’t done enough of X,” where X is something that should be inconsequential at my stage of the game by my U’s standards (for instance, serving on university-level committees) and isn’t something anyone should be judging my case by. In fact, at my university, we have a pretty transparent and fair process that involves annual reviews that go all the way up through most of the levels that the tenure and promotion file will go up. (This is something I want to write about in more detail later, because it’s how I think all tenure and renewal processes should go.) In all of those I’ve gotten good reviews. I have every reason to be confident. Not cocky, but confident.
So what gives? Why am I so paranoid and anxious? Is it just me or is it a larger cultural thing? Does the anxiety cloud that forms around tenure in academia in general cause me to pick up on that even though I don’t have any reason to be so anxious here at Rust Belt U?