There’s no other way to summarize September except for hectic. I imagine that the way my September went is the reason that so many people complain about, hate, and drop out of grad school- it was busy. Not always busy because of school-related things, but busy nonetheless when there are only 24 hours in the day.
From going out of town to Washington, DC for Labor Day Weekend, to going to the International Graduate Student Immunology Conference in Dallas, to our departmental retreat last week, to this week with Rosh Hashanah spanning two weekdays to also trying to, you know, be a productive scientist, I’ve been spending crazy long hours in the lab on the days that I have been able to in an effort to keep up with the amount of work I feel I should get done in a month. I’m happy to say that of the list of 5 experiments I made to do at the beginning of September, I’ve crossed four off my list already with still a week to go in the month. I think I can do it!
Last week was a major catch-up week after being gone for four days the week prior, and I didn’t get home until close to midnight any day last week. (Yes, that was awful and I was utterly exhausted by the weekend even though I did get a lot done in lab.) Now that I have had that time to catch up on school/science things, I am trying to devote some more time to non-academic pursuits (such as blogging!).
If last week taught me anything it’s that I am much happier when I aliquot time to all of my interests instead of pigeon-holing into just one. I’m sure that sounds counter-intuitive to all the stereotypes of graduate school, but the most important thing, truly, is doing what works for you to make it through. Last week was certainly a lesson in that for me, and I’m happy to be starting afresh this Monday.