Welcome to third year – 01/10/2015

Welcome to October everyone, today marks my first official day as a 3rd year PhD student. I started at the University of Leicester on 30th Sept 2013, and I can’t believe how quickly that time has gone, or how different I am. I started at Leicester with the intention to try new things, even if they scared me. The first part of that was applying to be a student blogger for the university. Since then I’ll done far more things than I ever thought I would, I now feel comfortable speaking in public, as well as teaching, I have my own personal blog and I’ve written articles for other people. Amazingly I sat and had a discussion with my thesis committee for over an hour this week quite confidently, and without any kind of panic. Blogging has had a huge impact on me, I find my writing style generally flows much more easily, and this seeps through into any scientific writing I have to do. I’m now so aware of how quickly I can write and edit 500 words the idea of a 30,000-50,000 word thesis isn’t as terrifying as it was even a few months ago. Although some days it does still catch me off guard if I think about it too much 😉 .

Anyway after my little reflection I’ll get onto the last two days.

On Wednesday I arrived at 8:30am and was in the lab by 9am, where I worked pretty solidly until 12pm. I then broke for an email/computer check and to have an early lunch at 12:30pm. This was because we had PhD student seminars from the 1st year students at 1pm. As there were 5(!!!) speakers this lasted until gone 2:30pm, so that was a large chunk of the afternoon gone. I was back to the lab (after a minor rant about having to sit through so many talks in a single afternoon!) and that’s where I stayed until 5pm when I went off to Pilates. Half my lab work is proceeding really well (those extracted samples all PCR’ed up successfully 🙂 ) but the other half isn’t quite going to plan (a PCR band half the size it should be). I was home in time for the Bake Off semi final so all in all a very good day.

On to Thursday. Again I arrived at 8:30am and was in the lab 9am-12pm, then I took a little mental break for 30mins. As part of freshers week there was FREE GELATO (tiny, but still gelato is gelato) in the students union, so off I went to the students union (evidence below). I was definitely all systems go today, I had a list and I just worked my way through it. in particular I had one experiment that needed me to have a completely uninterrupted day, and today I finally found one, no meetings, no seminars etc. etc. etc. I had a late lunch at about 1:45pm but other than that, and about 30mins spent reviewing a draft assignment for one of my realising opportunities tutees, I was in the lab all day. I managed to coax the plate reader into working (my last run committed an epic suicide not long after I left the lab 😦 ) and got through my all day experiment in pretty good time (and without any major hiccups so far, although I still have to check the plates tomorrow). I will own up to juggling one too many tasks this morning, I ended up forgetting about one of them (a gel I was running) luckily my band was a big one so it didn’t run all the way off the end 🙂 .

Tiny (free) ice cream :)
Tiny (free) ice cream 🙂

So that’s a round up of the final day of my 2nd year and the first day of my 3rd year, both productive and fairly successful days. Hopefully they’re a sign of good things to come 🙂 , check back tomorrow to find out if the trend continues. Until tomorrow everyone, thank you for reading.

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2 thoughts on “Welcome to third year – 01/10/2015

  1. funnily enough, 4 years ago yesterday I started at Leicester too… as a lowly undergrad. Now I’m in the second year of a part time MA, and pulling together a PhD proposal. I was reflecting over on Facebook how things have changed tremendously since that rather nervewracking first day… I think observing anniversaries like this are good – it triggers reflective thinking, about the journey we’re on, how far we’ve come, how far we’ve yet to go. That kind of thinking, every once in a while, is good, I think. Productive – it can help us to make changes if we see something we’re not happy with. But still – congratulations! hope the rest of your third year runs well!

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