AAAHHHHH… Where has the time gone?

I realise it has been months since my last post. Time flies and life waits for no one. This post is about how to deal (or my version of dealing) with the ‘waiting period’. This is the time when nothing (and boy do I mean NOTHING) has been decided, when there is no indication of which path you should wonder down because all in front of you seem to be a viable option.

There are a ton of reasons you could be in this situation either you’ve just graduated and aren’t sure of the career you want, you know where you want to end up but just not how to get there, you’re still waiting for results or like me – you’ve applied to projects but there is no definitive answer. These are only a handful of reasons but all result in you not knowing. If you feel that you are in this period in your life, you are not alone. I’m pretty sure it’s a way of preparing you for the uncertainty that comes with adulthood in the Big Wide World.

So, though I am still technically in this phase of my life I thought I’d shed some light on how I am dealing with it and what it has taught me.

I have learnt so much about myself. People are always changing and evolving, it may not be drastic but little by little pieces of them will fade away and new ones will shine. Embracing change is good but don’t change for other people. If you feel overwhelmed, take a step back and evaluate your situation. Think about what you want out of it and how much of yourself are you willing to give to achieve that. Though the hard decisions are the ones you want someone else to make for you, they are the ones that you have to make for yourself. Seek advice from people you love and trust, but YOU are going to have to live with the consequences.

Do something with your time. Yes, having time off is fun and great but don’t waste it. Even if it has nothing to do with your future career plans, do something that excites you. And try to do it as much as possible. It’s easy to fall into a rut, and weeks on end of this will really mess with your state of mind. You can become complacent about the ‘life’ you have (which is really only the waiting period and not the way it’s going to be forever). You may even start doubting whether or not you want to pursue the career  you’ve worked so hard for because you’ve become so comfortable in this temporary situation.

Talk to people about how you are feeling. I don’t mean turning into an emotional volcano that’s ready to erupt anytime another human is in your vicinity, no, I mean talk about your plans, your ideas, your goals and how you’d like to achieve them. Usually, people will be ready to listen, help and offer some advice which can be wise to take onboard because it be something that you didn’t think about.  You’d be surprised at the amount of people that are rooting for you.

Be confident in your decisions. There was a reason you chose that, remember what it was and remind yourself of it every once in a while.

Keep up to date with your field. Read journals, news reports, textbooks, anything that keeps your mind alert.

Lastly, be patient. If you’re anything like me this is easier said than done, but there is truth in it. Be proactive, but don’t rush the process.

I hope this was helpful in some way 🙂

Keep reading,

H.

My first application…

So, it’s been a while since my first post but I’m back with a little story about my first application.

While preparing for my final set of exams of undergrad, I received an email about a very interesting post available as a PhD scheme. It was based in parasitology and sounded like something I’d really enjoy. With encouragement from my family I decided to apply and was thrilled when I received an invitation for an informal interview. After learning more about the position I started to get really excited about the prospect of the research. Later that day I got invited to a second formal interview with both supervisors present. During this meeting we began discussing my interest in the project, the experience I have and future plans. Both the supervisors were extremely nice and very encouraging while being completely honest about the requirements of a PhD. At the end of the meeting it was made clear that we were a good fit and I was offered the position- with the condition of my pass rate (and if the university accepted the proposal).

After a few weeks of waiting I received an email stating that the university would not be able to fund the project. Understandably I was pretty upset about this. The supervisors informed me that if I could find funding it may still be an option, or alternatively I could continue my education via an MSc. They encouraged me to pursue research and to further my education, for which I am grateful.

Though initially I was disheartened when receiving the news, when I looked back at things a few days later with more of a clear head, I saw things I didn’t before. The encouragement from the supervisors – this was so beneficial for my confidence that I do (hopefully) have the ability to work in a research lab or institution. When the option of doing this project was essentially taken away, it made me even more sure that research and gaining further education is something I really want to (even if it means doing a PhD later on in life, rather than right now).

I see this particular process as a success and failure – both of which have helped me to keep putting myself out there for different opportunities.

Keep reading,

H 🌸