Hey Strangers. Remember me? I’ve been feeling extremely guilty the past few months that I haven’t updated my blog… I’ve half written several posts but lost both my motivation and inspiration to write outside of my PhD. As with most of my blog posts, this one was inspired by my friend, mentor and overall superstar; Heidi Gardner. Her latest post laid out what she’s been up to and set boundaries so she could get through her monsterous to-do list over the next few months. Her side hustle, Science on a Postcard has absolutely taken off and she was featured on the BBC! Check out the feature here.
So what have I been up to?
Well, the PhD journey has been an immersive one over the past few months, with data collection in full swing. I’ve been travelling all over Scotland for my focus groups and walking interviews, even spending a few days in Lewis and Harris for fieldwork! I have my final two focus groups this week and then a couple of interviews over the coming weeks. Come September, I can change gears and focus on the analysis phase.
Aside from data collection, I passed my second year review board today (woohoo!) and have been working part-time on a research project.
I have also been working on some applications. I applied for a three month internship with the Scottish Government internship (nothing back yet so fingers crossed!), I applied to tutor on a few undergraduate courses next year (spoiler- I was successful!) and finally, I’m in the midst of applying for a course to get my Associate Fellowship membership with the Higher Education Academy.
Summer is conference time in the academic world so I traveled to London in May to present at the Alzheimer’s Society Annual Conference and in July, I presented at the International Missing Adults and Children conference in Liverpool where we managed to squeeze in a meeting with the International Consortium for Dementia and Wayfinding (website coming soon).
On top of all of that, I recently learned that my lead supervisor is moving to a different university so we’ve been trying to figure out what my options are. This is a complicated thing to discuss but when we get everything finalised, I will definitely write a blog post on the experience because I’m sure this is a situation that many PhD students have found themselves in and there isn’t a lot of discussion or advice out there on it!
Most importantly, I’ve been busy outside of the PhD too! In May I hosted my friend’s Hen Party weekend then travelled to the most beautiful wedding in Norway in June!
I even did my first sprint triathlon in July!
After feeling down and overwhelmed the past few months, I have made a conscious decision to rid myself of the lingering guilt of not updating this blog. I had big plans for this platform and sadly, I haven’t met them but for right now, meeting the milestone of my PhD is the priority and this is one of the commitments that I have to cut in order to achieve that. My intention isn’t to boast about how busy I’ve been. I know that I set out to write this blog for myself but I guess I needed to write this to update anyone who has been wondering where I am and to allow myself to let go of the guilt. I’m not saying this is the end of the blog, If inspiration hits, this blog is my outlet! I’m just saying that I’m not going to pressure myself…