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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Sickbed Blogging

I'm still ill. Blegh. So today I'm blogging from my sickbed!
As I look around my room, I can see that my bedroom functions as a decent metaphore for how I'm finding life as a PhD student!
That might be helped by the strong flu meds, but I'm going to roll with it anyway.
My room is a weird hybrid between a younger me and a more professional adult me. My desk has my laptop and a big monitor for working, but the Wii U is plugged into it too. My bookshelf has a mixture of academic books on things like quantum biology and guides to british wildlife, but also fun books like the bacterionomicon and the Hyrule Historia. A box of stationery by a box full of board games.

How is that like a PhD though? For me, PhD life is a weird hybrid between professional research and still being a student. This works both in the lab and outside of working hours; I have assignments to do, and am very definitely still learning more and more every day, but I also have huge freedom to design my own experiments and am pretty well trusted to be able to get on with things without burning down the lab or accidentally creating zombie plants. Outside work I still hang out watching movies and playing video games but also go for walks, do proper shopping (so long, toast and pasta based diet) and grow plants.

I like it! I really, really do. I feel like all the best bits of being a student, like spending time with friends, having a big framework of academic (and mental health) support and all the exciting discounts, have been retained while some of the bad bits like being totally broke are much less prominent. Similarly, I get to spend all day in the lab doing research that I love and am fascinated by, but I'm not feeling the hurt from things like council tax or mortgages.

Being a PhD student is a wonderful mix of all my favourite things in life! I absolutely love it, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who will listen.

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