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Happy New Year (2021 Edition)

2020... what can I say? So many cliché break-up lines are appropriate right now…

“I wish things were different…”

“I need some space…”

“It’s not me, it’s you…” (okay, I edited this one slightly)

2020 was undoubtedly tough. My PhD can be stressful at the best of times, but this past year has escalated that beyond what I thought possible.

March? Lab work = not happening.

June? Moving flat during a global pandemic.

October? Our flat literally caught on fire.

And I’m definitely not alone. Whilst there are bound to be some common themes, every PGR’s year has been trying for different reasons. I know many of us have missed out on so much- access to facilities, field work, conferences, training courses and networking opportunities. And external stresses to our PhD experience were also heightened, especially since our home and work lives became blurred.

But since the festive season is a time for reflection, I forced myself to think about all the things that went well this year.

February? Completed my sampling work (and got to go to Japan!).

April? Spent some quality time with my mum having moved home for the first lockdown.

October? Started this awesome internship.

So, it wasn’t all bad. In fact, there have been some really joyous moments this year. 2021 is the fresh start that many of us need. Some of 2020’s trials will undoubtedly continue into the new year, and there will certainly be a fresh batch of challenges waiting for us in the next twelve months. But I’m ready to take the good with the bad (and the ugly). Because I know that as long as we work to the best of our ability, value what we have, and find reasons to smile, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t start 2021 with the same optimism with which we started the decade.

Happy New Year to you all!



Header image from Unsplash

This blog post was originally published on the UofG PGR Blog. You can read the original here.


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