Google is often good at reading minds. Likewise, it’s good at reminding you of: 1) how truly stupid your thoughts sound and 2) the sad but reassuring fact that your thoughts are far from unique.
I finished out the year, and despite the momentary elation of having passed the classes, find myself again trapped and dismayed. Everyone in my year, this fresh crop of new PhD researchers, is SO excited about OMG STARTING RESEARCH LOOK AT ME I AM A REAL SCIENTIST NOW!!!!!!!!! Ugh. I, on the other hand, started in a new group but still feel constantly disenchanted and remain tragically prone to sell myself short and talk my way out of opportunities to do things I feel like I could want to do. I’m writing on this now-essentially-defunct piece of the internet now because I need to convince myself that I have the right to find and do work that makes me happy. And probably no one reads it.
I can’t believe it, but I miss CERN because at least people ate lunch together and my office had windows.
So here we go, trying to stay afloat: PROJECTS FOR THE SUMMER, outside of what my current group has assigned me:
1. Read papers in condensed matter physics, or whatever seems interesting.
2. Basic competence in Python.
3. Talk (in person, and not at the last minute) to professors.
4. Find the confidence to tell my supervisors if I continue to feel like I’m isolated and suffering.
5. Go outside and ride Mountain bikes.
6. Start writing again. Learn how to use modern web-publishing platforms and social media because that’s what you have to do these days.
7. Start practicing languages again.
8. Take responsibility for myself, stop believing I am stupid and unqualified, and hopefully find something I am motivated to work on!