Light at the end of the tunnel

Photo courtesy of Lucie Hadley

When I say that so many things that could go wrong in my research have gone wrong, I am not kidding. From the petty to the extenuating. Numerous times.

The traditionalist within me would blame arrows from the village. The pragmatist knows this is just life. To be specific, just ONE phase of life.

On days like today I wonder why I don’t just quit.

Because to be honest, I’m not doing this for any altruistic purposes, and I won’t ever pretend that is the case. Neither am I doing this solely to contribute to the current immunologic knowledge bank.

Rather, because 1: it is NOT financially viable to quit at this stage and 2: I generally like to see all my projects, big and small, through to completion.

I keep my head afloat by telling myself that every moment when I rise above my gritted teeth and red-rimmed eyes, I take my transferable skills just that one step further. That there are life-long applications to these invisible muscles I’m building, however insufferable the weights that elicit them. This has become my mantra:

That there will be some form of positive impact as an outcome; even if not in terms of groundbreaking research, but as an evolution of self.

Every single day since I embarked on this project, I have been humbled. I keep being reminded that life (and research) are made easier by collaborations, listening ears to help you screw your head back on, and making a conscious effort to hold onto hope.

Dear PhD student, hang in there. Take a deep breath, have a mug of sweet tea, then re-strategize. There is a solution waiting for you to find it.

Faith cannot be faith if it’s never needed.

As my father used to say:

en avant!
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