Happy New Year Science lovers!
I wish everyone a very productive lab year with a renewed love for life changing research. Which it really is and I think that grad students get so caught up with the experiments that we forget the big picture.
I know I’ve been AWOL for a minute but the truth is I’ve been struggling with my blog identity. Many Science Bloggers are very good at updating their blog with what’s cool in the world of science and I think that’s great. I don’t want to be just another science blogger focused on just scientific research. One of the reasons why I blog is because I haven’t stumbled across many blogs geared towards the struggles graduate students in biomedical research face. That’s what I want my blog to be about. I’ll do my best to be true to that henceforth!
That being said…I think a quick recap of 2013 is in order.
For me, 2013 marked the beginning of my 5th year as a grad student and with that came feelings of “I can’t believe it’s been 5 years”. “I’ve accomplished nothing!” “I’m so ready to be done” “OMG, I’m never going to get out”. And I refuse to believe I’m the only one in this position so let’s all just leave our feelings of inadequacy in this moment and agree to move on ok? Cool
It helps to know that you are not alone in all this and I’ve taken the following steps to cope with and overcome those loser-ish feelings. I’ve come up with the 3 R’s.
1. Relax (aka Chill out dude!) : seriously, unless you’ve been an absolute bum for the last 5 years, they haven’t been wasted. So what if 99% of your experiments have failed? At least it worked 1% of the time. The hardwork you put in trouble shooting failed experiments shows resilience and will pay off in the long run.
2. Rejuvenate (aka Take a break!): vacation, staycation, a saturday off, a bath. Take some time off and do not think about your project(s). Just decompress and then come back with a renewed sense of purpose. I’ve heard a lot of accomplished people say this..it’s necessary to take a step back and not think about your work. If they do it..so can we. Also…some of the best ideas are thought up in the shower!
3. Reconnect! (aka Whatchubeenupto!): I don’t know if it’s the same everywhere, but at my school, after the first year of classes, classmates dissipate and we often end up in labs with people from different years. If you were that loner in the corner who made no friends…er..can’t help you. However, if you made at least one friend..reconnect with them. Have lunch..or coffee. Catching up with an old friend and seeing what they’ve been up to should motivate you to work harder to help you feel better about your situation.
That’s all I have for my first post of 2014. As for me…I’m hoping to wrap up this year and move on to the next step in my scientific career. Scary and exciting all at the same time. I can’t wait! I’ll keep you updated!