Take what you can from where you are
I’m back in the lab!
It actually feels good to be back.
Don’t get me wrong: I loved my internship. It was a fantastic experience and I learned a ton. And I’m still looking forward to moving onto a career that doesn’t involve working at the bench.
But I’m excited about finishing what I started here in grad school, and finishing strong.
A much-needed break
The internship came at a really good time. Earlier this year I felt I was on the verge of burning out. My relationship with my research project was feeling pretty strained.
The internship provided a much-needed break from research, while giving me some really valuable training for my future career. Having some time away from research helped me step back and breathe a little.
Now I feel refreshed and ready to push through the last leg of my graduate training before moving on to becoming a full-fledged science writer.
While I was away from the lab, I even worked a bit on my dissertation, which I’m really proud of myself for. Looking at a document with more than 90 pages of text and figures assures me that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer!
A new attitude
As I look ahead to what will hopefully be my last year in grad school, I’m realizing that I could really use an attitude adjustment.
Formerly, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much longer I would have to endure being dissatisfied with my job. And that made every day feel like drudgery.
While I still am on-par with this line of thinking, I’m becoming more aware that there is another side to that coin:
There is something that can be taken away from every experience you have, even (and perhaps especially) the most challenging and difficult ones.
That’s the attitude I’ve decided to hold onto as I brace myself for another year of research.
It’s been about a week, and so far, so good.
To give myself little reminders of my new approach to grad school, I’ve put post-its around my desk.
One of them reads, Make the most of every opportunity.
I’ve also taped up a Dove chocolate wrapper, you know, the ones with those cutesy messages on the inside. It reads: Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.
I resolve to make the most of my last leg of grad school before moving on to pursuing a science writing career… wish me luck!