Hello again everyone! With the Festive season fast approaching, it’s been a time for starting to tie up loose ends in the lab before the Xmas break, which is what I have spent the last few weeks doing. So I firstly want to apologise for the lack of posts over the last two weeks, but unfortunately some things had to be prioritised 😦
But hopefully, you are all back with me now – and I just wanted to write a quick update post to let you guys know what I have been up to. Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have an idea about what PhDLife has been like for me the last two weeks, but I thought there was no harm in a quick update.
Stage 1 – Frustration.
PhDs are hard and for all the highs, there are hundreds of lows! For the past month or so, I feel like it has been the lowest of all the lows in our lab – which has left me stressed out and frustrated! There have been a few incidents to report – first, our stem cells are infected 😥 and the feeder layers we grow them on 😥 so to start from scratch there won’t be any more stem cells for any experiments before Xmas 😥
So instead, as I do some work on cancer stem cells – we have resorted to using these until we have cells again, so last week was spent bulking up so the whole lab had some cancer stem cells to use 🙂
At least I got a pretty picture out of it 🙂
Secondly, all our fluorescence microscopes that took these pretty pictures and various other expensive machines in the lab had different problems – which are all resolved now. And finally, the seal on our freezer broke so was left open all night and all my brand new antibodies and brand new £350 kits are now rendered useless 😥
It has been one thing after another – we have been fighting a losing battle recently!
But on the bright side, it means no more weekends until the new year, and it’s nearly my birthday and Xmas holidays 🙂
Stage 2 – My first centre seminar
Ive done my fair share of seminars just like the next PhD student. But I’ve never been much of a public speaker but found myself getting better and growing in confidence with each seminar I did. Yet this time I felt like I had taken a hundred steps back. This seminar series includes lots of postdocs and PhD students from the institute and is an informal series aiming to give people practice with presentations. But I was SO nervous! Not sure why! Maybe because I felt very under prepared compared to previous times, or maybe because everyone in the building could be there including all the profs and all the other super intelligent people I encounter on a daily basis! What if they don’t like my talk? What if they completely disagree with what I’ve done? What if they ask me god awful questions after? My imagination was going a bit crazy! but after all that panic, everything went smoothly!
Stage 3 – The transfer thesis hand-in
So, I discussed in a previous blog post what a transfer thesis is and why I need to do one! So, finally, after what seems like an absolute age!!, my transfer thesis is completely edited, printed, bound and delivered to all examiners and supervisors!
I feel like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders when I finally pressed ‘PRINT’! Although it only took a few days before I started thinking that I should read it again and start learning everything in preparation for my viva! 11 days and counting!
My top tip for writing a thesis of any kind is simply make some progress each day, whether it is a sentence, a figure or a whole chapter, you feel much better mentally if you’ve done something! Well, at least it helped me! What would your top thesis writing tips be? I think we should all share to try and help each other in this time of pain and suffering :p!
So – there’s my latest update on PhDLife. New blog posts will be back soon 🙂