(CNN)For Andy Hull, this was the year that a lifelong dream of being a philosophy professor was set to culminate. Then a pandemic hit.
The sixth-year doctoral student just finished the first draft of his dissertation in ancient philosophy at Northwestern University. He's trying to tell himself the job market isn't his fault, but with life routines disrupted in quarantine, he's faulting himself even for the little things.
"Oftentimes I tell myself, 'Come on, Andy, do the dishes. Do the laundry. You used to do that.' You beat yourself up about that stuff."
Tenure-track philosophy jobs are tough to come by, even in a non-pandemic year. And his years of traversing the globe presenting at conferences feel worthless against the worldwide recession sweeping every industry, including academia.
Hull always knew he might not get a teaching job right out of the gate, but "this hurts somewhat more," Hull said. "The job market will be especially bad next year, and the aftershocks will be much more prevalent."