4 more months to go – PhD Life

The portrait has been created by Nina Chhita and similar items can be purchased from her Etsy shop check here.

May has been a very busy month. Loads of exciting things have happened including new job opportunity, change to meet new friends and old friends and loads of progress with my science.

61195522_363467491189090_554701722132414464_nLet’s start from the start. On May the 2nd, I packed a small bag and went to Rome on holiday. I hadn’t been there for 2 years. Rome isn’t just a city to visit for me, I went to university there and I still have friends and loads of memories. I debated a lot with myself whether to go or wait until the end of my PhD. But you know what? I will not be in my 20s ever again in my life and despite I am at a critical point in my PhD, this stupid impostor syndrome has already taken loads of good memories away from my life! This holiday was not a waste of time like all the time you generally spend away from your research. It was important for me to go and reconnect with friends from the past. My long overdue untreated depression destroyed all my relationships and I left Rome isolated believing that I had no friends. Repopuluting my life with my old friends was an important step forward to break the cycle of negative thinking that fueled my mind for ages. Some pictures here (more at the end).

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I decided to go to Rome now because I will not be in my 20s ever again in my life.

 

58462538_2447368378609347_4395661472814858240_nAll the hard work I have been putting in growing my public profile either through this website and mostly my Instagram page came to fruition. I secured my first sponsorship through my Instagram page. iZettle a fintech company hired me to promote the book Women Transforming released in occasion of women’s day to raise visibility on women in the tech industry. The book was created and launched by 45 women in the company to break stereotypes and encourage more girls to see the fun side of being a web designer or developer. I mean could I have found a better sponsor for my page? An online copy of the book can be purchased on www.womentransformingtech.com. All proceeds go towards supporting UN Women UK’s work for women across the world.

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I also finally made the decision and committed to it to reduce my time on Instagram. I cut my daily usage in half and finally reached my goal of not spending more than 2 h a day there. Sound still a lot but this is a significant step forward for me and a good starting point. I actually enjoy creating content and sharing my daily life as a scientist. But if you don’t enjoy it anymore, I believe it is time to take a step back and understand why you started this venture in the first place. Not enjoying it anymore means comparing yourself to others, looking at their engagement, how many likes, comments, followers they have and using this as a measure of self-worth.

Social media is a beautiful tool to create connections, but if it takes a toll on your mental health, it’s time to step away!

I instead decided to use the huge amount of time I saved daily to put a bit more afford on my Etsy shop. Around mid-May, on occasion of the small business week, I run a promotion and increased the sells of my shop. This made me realise that I set the price of my items too high and my items were inaccessible to purchase for my audience, which is mainly students. All prices are updates now and you can find the new price listing here. I sold out the bookmark science and launched 4 new products, 2 card holder, a new bookmark and a keyring.

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round-bottomed flask-shaped keyring available to purchase for £5, check here

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Bookmark with DNA double helix pattern available to purchase for £8, check here.

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Gibco cell culture shaped card holder available to purchase for £10, check here.

Finally, my recommendation for this month:

Decolonising  Academia, a very tough book to read and uncomfortable at time, but a good insight into the struggle and emotional pain of colonised folks.

Decolonising Wealth, another nice read to convince yourself that white supremacy does exist and the unconscious (or not) willingness to keep anyone that it doesn’t fit the idea of a white man from $$$.

New stickers for my laptop bought from my friend Jessica who runs an indipendent shop CellKuture.co, check it out.

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Stay tuned for the upcoming month, loads of fun things too such as my upcoming trip to London to meet up with my Insta friends, my talk “Social Media for personal branding and sciocomm” in Sheffield and the leaving do dinner with my fellow PhD students. Stay tuned!