Before anyone panics, Reginald and I are still besties. Well, I guess not technically as he is a dinosaur who seems completely incapable of forming a loving bond with anyone or anything, but I'm kinda attached to him so I don't let that minor detail get in the way.
He's just so stinkin' adorable! And terribly photogenic!
Anyho, I'm sure you're wondering how I am growing up if I am still messing around with anti-social t-rex's. I am taking control of my life.
For yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeears my life has been dominated by by the pursuit of a reasearch degree which was ultimately doomed. And I don't know whether you guys are familiar with the life of a typical science grad student, but I'll let you into a little secret, they don't have one. No seriously, you work all the time. Not in the "yeah I work so hard I have hardly any me time" sense of the phrase. But in the, "I work all the time I have special out of hours access to the lab and am on first name terms with the night security guards and why yes that is an emergency pillow and blanket you see under my desk" sense.
It all stems from the fact that being a graduate student is like being in the limbo between being a carefree undergraduate and a real-life adult. You are poor, so very poor, like a student, and so you live and eat like a student. But unlike your undergrad counterparts you have real work and responsibilities and little time for drinking. Oh and you don't get the holidays either........ I may or may not have spent more than 1 national holiday *cough* New Years and Easter *cough* in the lab.
Obviously its not all bad. And sensible people who do non-experimental based projects I hear can achieve something called a work life balance. Also there are conferences where you get to go abroad on University dime and consume hedonistic amounts of food and alcohol under the guise of "building relationships with your peers for collaborative studies". There are also freebies. Also You get a qualification which may or may not be of assistance in the job market.
I feel as though I'm losing my train of thought, I do hope you're all with me. To recap: grad school is a life sucking hole with some rewards.
But I have submitted the thesis at long last.
Also a date has been set for the viva, but lets not dwell on that.
Which means I officially get to move on with my life.
Terrifying really. Because, it involves scary decisions like, what am I going to do, am I willing to compromise where I want to live for what I want to do, what about a social support network will I allow that to factor into my decision and until recently what if the vote for independence goes through will by prospects be better or worse in an independent Scotland. And sooooooo many more questions. Part of what makes me a good researcher is the ability to rationally consider all the possible problems, solutions and ramifications of any single variable. Turns out this can be kind of a hindrance to making life decisions quickly! Which is why I've been a bit of an absentee around here. I was doing so much thinking I couldn't really focus on anything else.
But I love you guys, and know you are endlessly fascinated by the minutiae of my life, so I'm going to catch you all up over the next few days.