The home page on the intranet at work sports a rather lovely ‘Quote of the Day’ everyday. I love me some quotes, so I usually remind myself to read it at sometime during the day. One in particular stood out last week. It is from philosopher, Henri Frederic Amiel.
I quite liked it because this year has involved a lot of figuring myself out. What I do/do not enjoy and what I think is most important.
For example, when I started university I did have the vague idea that maybe I would like to do a PhD, go into research and become a proper scientist! However, I soon realised that while I still found Physics incredibly interesting and enjoyed learning about it, being an actual ‘physicist’ can be quite different to the fun and messing around that sitcom The Big Bang Theory would have you believe.
That is not to say I gave up right away! I was prepared to put the work in. I learned a couple of programming languages, I did a summer project with one of my lecturers and I completed my Masters project. I can look back on the time fondly now, but I know that at the time it was a lot of reading papers and sitting in front of computers; trying to plan, write and fix computer code. It was long meetings with supervisors talking about things that I could just barely get my head around.
If I had enjoyed that, it would have been fantastic experience and set me on the path to doing a PhD and becoming a scientist like I had planned.
But I did not enjoy it. I remember writing code for my Masters project a few weeks before it was due in and getting increasingly frustrated when it did not do what I wanted it to and thinking, quite clearly, this is not what I want to be doing, Laura. REMEMBER this feeling when you get all dewy eyed after a few months away from Physics and think you want to go back to university and do a PhD. Get out while you can! I am not enjoying this at all!
I did momentarily forget this, writing it off as Masters project stress and applyed for a couple of PhDs. I was unsuccessful, I am starting to think that maybe this is a good thing. I think I am now accepting the fact that while I like the idea of being a scientist, the reality of it just does not suit me.
I am glad I realised this now rather than later. I am going to try and keep today’s quote in mind and remember that I am just working out what I am, even if all I seem to be doing is realising what I am not, which is slightly more stressful. As long as I am honest with myself, I’ll think it will work out.