Disclaimer: this is not my image. This is the image source: https://i0.wp.com/cdn.someecards.com/someecards/usercards/1291059623718_579081.pngBetween the first day of classes and now, I feel like it’s been a marathon race… long and hard, stretched out with many miles in between. You think you are nearing the finish as you egg on, only to realize that it’s a long stretch of more miles ahead. And it’s frightening, although it feels good to know that I stand in solidarity with my classmates and the hundreds to thousands out there in the same boat as I am.

I’ve had a few: “welcome to graduate school” moments I want to share with you on here:

a. Free pizza and beer (wooot!)

b. 300 pages of reading the first week for a class that is a passage of rites amongst neuroscience first years in my department 😐

c. Feeling lonely and missing my undergrad days of guilt-free procrastination

d. Weekly bonding moments with classmates either at the graduate bar or over dinners or over at the gym

e. Realizing I have a stipend that I thought was gold, but is actually just enough to keep me from month to month

f. First round of experiments failing and realizing why many scientists just take chill pills and try a different route later

g. Presenting my first scientific paper in front of my peers and getting nailed with questions from the professors (to toughen my skin apparently LOL – it wasn’t funny as it happened though, I took it in good faith)

h. Getting my anticipated graduation date from the registrar’s office being May 2017. I had a look of slight dismay on my face: “I have barely started, and you are trying to remind me I will leave some day?”

i. Loving the free health insurance and getting a check-up when I know there is nothing wrong with me (okay, so maybe not so related, but i’m sure someone else out there has done it)

j. Realizing that on average I probably read about 5 or 6 scientific papers a week, and I am actually fine with it… I don’t even feel frustrated with the work I have to do… weird. Maybe because I’m doing what I love? Or is it still the newness of it?

So other first years, tell me other “welcome to graduate school” moments you have had? I would love to know

p.s. I am so excited about society for neuroscience in D.C. this year WOOOOOOOT WOOOOOOT!!! Send me a message if you want to meet and hang or something – as per neuroscience student bloggers πŸ™‚