Its the summer of my first year. The lit review is done and the field campaign has happened. My job now is to do the groundwork for model simulations, and read some more. I don’t think the reading ever stops. I quite like reading though, so it doesn’t matter too much. The groundwork is a bit boring though.
Anyway I keep managing to stress! I’m a bit of a worry-wort and always have been, so its not that surprising. So what have I been worrying about?
- Am I doing enough work?
Some days I just don’t fancy going into the office. Some days I go in and spend my time not doing anything meaningful. Sometimes I get all my to do list for the day done and then go swimming and feel pretty good about life. As I don’t have to be in a lab, I can work anywhere with internet. I’m finding that this total flexibility is a recipe for guilt! I should be working more! Or should I? Also last time I worked really hard for a week, my supervisors didn’t seem to notice, total motivation killer.
I have no idea how many hours I put into my PhD, but its definitely not 9-5! I suppose if my supervisors were concerned they would let me know. So I must be ok, time to chill about not working as much as I did for my MSc, that year was torture, I think my extra-relaxed working routine is a result of last years stress, it’ll even out next year. Stop worrying!
- How on earth does one fit children and academia together!?!Ok so having kids isn’t on the agenda just yet, but I like to know everything now, this minute! With research I can normally ask google, read some papers, ask one of my office mates or read a text book, and then know the answer. What does that word mean? Google! When I run my model I need to do this right? Answer from colleague! That doesn’t massively work for BIG future questions. However someone at York (my old uni!) has tried to apply research to this question and come out with this : http://www.york.ac.uk/res/chong/pdfs/MothersInScience_bk_finalWeb.pdf.
Its the stories of 64 women in research careers who have managed to do what I sometimes think is impossible, have a family and a career! Their stories are varied and its reminded me that I need to chill, its possible and there is no one way to do it. I totally recommend it to any woman in science who is having the same worry as me.
- What if I get a postdoc abroad and my BF won’t come?
I’m quite adventurous! I love the idea of a career in academia partly for the chance to travel, to do interesting fieldwork, to go to fancy conferences and work abroad. Now its that last one that’s making me worry here! I’d love to spend at least one more work period abroad (I did an erasmus year during my undergrad) learning about other cultures and making new friends and contacts. How awesome does that sound?! Anyway, my lovely BF has managed to move about 45 minutes away from his hometown in his life and really likes it here. He’s quite a lot less adventurous than me. Despite any prospective move being more than 3 years away I keep massively freaking out about it! Would he want to come? Should I give up on that idea if he doesn’t? Should I give up on him if he doesn’t? If he doesn’t now, why stick with him if its going nowhere? What if we break up now and then discover three years down the line that he really wants to go abroad? And so on and so on! He is however very sensible, and tells me I need to relax a bit, and enjoy now a bit more, if we are enjoying our relationship, lets keep going. I’m trying to worry less about this one, he’s a wonderful guy, I should just get on with that for now! Though this one is much harder to shake.
This comic seems to sum up my feelings entirely..