Back Again…

…by Katherine / from Canada / PhD Biomedical Sciences 2015-2018

I hear that while I was enjoying rooftop terraces in Montreal, the weather in Edinburgh was just as nice (I saw proof in the form of sunburns when I got back!). Unfortunately, I missed it. In fact, the weather since I’ve gotten back here has been quite grey and rainy as seen in this month’s photo- grey skies and green trees. Let’s hope there are still a few days of summer left!

Lab work

I’ve been back for 2 weeks now and I am officially back in Edinburgh until I submit my thesis *audible gulp*. While waiting for my experiments to start up when I was in India, I made lists (one of my favourite things to do) of what I have left to do in terms of experiments for each chapter. I haven’t quite started any of those yet. I’ve actually added more onto the list! I know that at some point I am going to have to draw the line and stop doing experiments so I can focus on writing up otherwise I’ll never write my thesis. There are just so many cool experiments left to do! I can definitely see how North American PhDs last 5+ years. There are just so many unanswered questions that are left to explore! Right now the important thing is figuring out which experiments are needed for my thesis and which ones I can do after submission to enhance a potential paper. It is exciting and scary. Although I’ve written up my MScRes thesis, this one seems different, more formal perhaps. I was flipping through an old PhD student’s thesis today and I was overwhelmed by “the Fear“*. I just have to get on with these experiments. The sooner I start, the sooner I finish. I’m hoping to finish all my experiments by September to submit before Christmas!

Visiting Edinburgh

Although I’ve been in Edinburgh almost 4 years now (how time flies!) there are so many hidden gems around the city that I haven’t fully explored yet. One of my best friends from home was visiting last week and together we explored all the different alleys and closes in the Old Town. We walked along the Waters of Leith and explored New Town as well. We also went on a haunted walk that explored some of Europe’s most haunted locations which lucky for us are a stone’s throw away from  the George Square campus! Whether or not you believe in the paranormal, these tours are pretty freaky (the tour guide kind of looked like a goth vampire in a long leather trench coat), but also really interesting historically. It provides a new perspective on Edinburgh and points out some of the darker moments in its history that have made the city what it is today. I come from Montreal which just celebrated its 375th birthday; Canada celebrated its 150th this weekend (my friend and I celebrated with some good maple syrup). It always impresses me so much that there are buildings in Edinburgh that are so much older than that. The history here is incredible!

Now I must start on those experiments and make a plan for writing my thesis *another audible gulp*.

The Fear arises in final year PhD students when they realise that the end is near and everything needs to come together. It can be exacerbated by things going wrong (which will happen), papers getting rejected (again, it will happen) and seeing blissful and completely unaware earlier year students (their turn will come).

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