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This post is coming a bit earlier than expected. If you been following me for a while you might know that I tend to write a blog article at the end of every month (check Jan and Feb ones) to assess whether I am on track with my goals and check on my progress. Many things happened over the last month, most of them unexpected. So I needed careful planning to make the best decisions for the upcoming and hopefully last months of my PhD!
The biggest news is that I decided to revoke the extension of my PhD and submit my thesis when my scholarship runs out. Why? Because PhD will never get easy, only harder, where won’t be any positive day, only more bad ones, there won’t be any positive result, only the next failed and wrong experiment. There will be no positive memory to remember, only bad ones. I am putting this blog article together because today is the day my PhD won over me. Luckily or sadly (?), I don’t feel anything! I have been wondering a lot over the last few days why I haven’t felt sad nor happy, joyful or unhappy. And I have come to realise this is the effect antidepressants have on me. They suppress any peak of emotions positive and negative, and I am surprised how well I have been holding on despite the quick and unexpected decisions.
There won’t be any positive result, only the next failed and wrong experiment.
One of my best qualities is to make the most of every bad situation. Since, I suppose, this is time for me to move on, because if you complain too much about something, why keep sticking to it? I put together a plan for my thesis in a few hours and submitted it to my supervisor 10 days ago. My professor approved it and I got the signature to officially submit it to the School. I made an official declaration on my Instagram page a few days ago and will remember the day I started writing the first word of my thesis as the happiest day of my PhD. Many people asked me whether this is necessary. I am not sure about university policies but your supervisor has to be willing for you to write your thesis in this university. As far as I am aware, loads of universities in the USA have similar policies too. You don’t decide whether you are ready for graduation, your PI does!
Thanks to the several boxes of antidepressant because I would have not gone through my last year without!
For the special occasion, I bought a new agenda and will track my progress in writing daily. I will start writing the fourth chapter of my thesis and the introduction in the next few weeks. I have part of the introduction and the third chapter almost completed because I made the wise decision to write a full report for my second-year annual review. My internal examiner told me that it was written at almost PhD thesis level, so I guess I can leave it as it is for now and make minimal editing later on and closer to the deadline submission. Many students feel like the thesis period was the worst time of their PhD. I feel incredibly happy 1. because I love writing, as you can tell from my blogging activities, 2. I don’t enjoy spending time in the lab anymore, it’s getting too tiring and there’s never a joy really, 3. I AM FINISHING !!!!
Since my whole life isn’t my PhD, I did have some positive experiences over the last few weeks, Thank God I have a life outside my job! I chaired one of the sessions of the Women in Chemistry conference that took place at the university on March the 8th. It was one of the best women’s days I had in years. In fact, I did the things that I do every day, supporting and empowering women of all ages thought science and education, not only on a day set by society to remember our value. After the conference, I had the honour to listen to a talk by Angela Saini, the author of Inferior – how science got women wrong. If you didn’t read the book, do it right now, it dismantles all the stereotypes of women in society and science.
I also had the best time ever with my sister in Italy. I haven’t seen her for the last 9 months and I only wished I had spent more time with her! Unfortunately, this stupid impostor syndrome makes you feel bad any time you take time for yourself and give you permission to spend time outside the lab!
Stay tuned for the upcoming blog article at the end of April – hopefully, next month will be more positive than the last few weeks!