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The immediate aftermath

So, a couple days ago, I found out that my Ph. D Thesis has been accepted.

After waiting five months to find out the outcome of the examination process, it was a huge relief to know that:

  1. The examination process was over
  2. The Thesis was up to code (so to speak)
  3. The Thesis didn’t need any amendments or changes (makes my life easier)
  4. … and that I can (soon) add ‘Doctor’ or ‘Ph. D’ to my title

I’ll be honest- I was also quite excited by the idea that the Ph. D will boost my salary as well. After four years of literal blood, sweat, and tears… I feel like I’m allowed to have that moment! πŸ˜‚

But then, in amongst the elation and excitement, it also hit me:

Given we’re currently in Stage 4 lockdown here in Melbourne, I can’t really celebrate with the people I really want to celebrate with.

Fortunately I don’t live alone, and my housemate very generously stopped by a Dan Murphy’s to purchase a celebratory drink. 🍾πŸ₯‚

Complete with πŸ“

And it’s not that I didn’t receive plenty of virtual congratulations. There were tonnes of lovely messages and comments just during the evening alone, and I really appreciated every single one of them. There were phone calls as well, which in this day and age is somewhat rare. It was very lovely to hear from people…

But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss catching up with people in person. I really want to go out to the Pub with my former Lab to properly celebrate this achievement- I’m sure my housemate would, too! We’ve both gotten our Ph. Ds during lockdown. Given I’m an introvert at heart, I was actually quite surprised at my ‘wanting to see people’ urges.

And then there’s also the literal aftermath of every good news I’ve received this year:

I want to tell my late Grandpa about it.

He’d only missed all this by… well, less than six months.

Obviously it’s never a good time to lose someone, but given he’d been so supportive and encouraging, pretty much forever, about my academic achievements… it definitely sucks that I can’t tell him in person.

And that’s just it. This lockdown sucks, even for someone like me, who very fortunately has a job, who has a house… who- I would think, should have no reason to feel as lonely as I sometimes do. I guess everyone misses family when things are tough, and when you’re supposed to stay home, it gets hard!

It really makes me feel for those that are on their own. Whether you’re just living by yourself in general, or have come abroad for work/study, and your support network is far away…

I know the case numbers are slowly coming down, and I hope this trend continues. This second lockdown has always felt much more depressing and exhausting, but I sincerely hope this works…

Because I really want to see everyone again. In person.

I may not hug you, still (I’m not a hugger), but know that I’d still thoroughly enjoy seeing you in person. To hear your voice, to be in the same space as you.

I hate that we have to rely on other people to do the right thing, because I’ve never trusted other people to do so. I always hope that they do, but I also know that people are… people. Humans are inherently contradictory, and complicated… but bloody hell, I hope we can band together more while this stupid pandemic rages on.

So for the sake of others, please…

Listen to advice from the authorities

Wear a damn mask (over your nose πŸ‘ƒπŸΌ), and stop touching it constantly

Maintain social distancing

Stay home

But take care of yourselves, because I know I struggle sometimes

Categories: Ph D posts

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A Ph. D graduate in Microbiology, residing in Victoria, Australia. Currently working in multiple locations but still in the STEM field. πŸ‘€ 🦠 🧫 🧬

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