Alcohol and blogging – week 21 as a PhD student

This is my first time writing early on a Saturday morning after an evening which involved more drinks than I am used to. I feel as if my mind is only 60% in attendance so this might be an interesting one. One of the key questions that one who is financially sensitive has to ask themselves is: ‘ Does the feeling I have this morning, and the £-41 from my bank, balance with the enjoyment I had last night?’. My answer is maybe. We were out on the town as it was the last night that our friend would be staying with us before moving out. The real question is whether or not we could have achieved the same experience for less money. My guess is that, yes, yes we could have had the same experience for less money. However, that would require thinking and effort, which as a human, does not always come easy. Preamble over.

Time is flying at the moment; my six-month review is due at the end of the month. Six months! It feels as if I still have ten months of work left to do in my first year. I need to get ahead on my writing; I am starting to feel as if I need to increase my working hours, or maybe micromanage my schedule better and make sure I do a lot of writing. Actually, I need to do more coding, data analysis, reading, and writing. The workload is starting to pile up; I can barely see over it.

So, what did I do this week? Well, Tuesday and Wednesday, were the long-awaited Waitrose Science days. It was mostly two days of presentations and networking with high-level management and PhD students; this is one of the rare opportunities you get by virtue of being a PhD student. My networking skills leave something to be desired, but fortunately for me, these science days occur yearly, so I will have at least three more opportunities to improve. I had to present a poster for the first time. The first thing I noticed was that you could tell who the supervisor of the student was based on the poster. A colleague and I both have the same supervisor, and you could tell this by the fact that our posters had more than double the words anyone else did. The 2nd thing I noticed was that there are two kinds of response from people looking at your poster. The first of these and the best are the ones who ask you about it and try to understand what your thoughts on the subject are. The second type of person, will listen to what you have to say, ignore it, and then proceed to tell you there opinion on the matter. Often the latter tend to take up the more of your time. Still, in spite of this, I still had nothing but positive feedback. One of the most significant revelations about the world of academia is that 99% of people are very good human beings; I can see why many people choose to stay in this world.

If you were on the fence about choosing academia over the industry, I would urge you to at least try academia.