For over a year, I went on a hiatus for two reasons – finishing my Ph.D. thesis, and facing my demons. Some of us know that doing a doctorate is the real deal. It feels as though you’re a monk who deserved to be whipped several times because penitence will ever be granted according to your supervisor’s will. Being in the academia for so long (but not as long as those who have committed their lives to never-ending post docs and search for a better tenure position) have made me a stronger person be it mentally, emotionally, and physically. During the past year, I had the luck to dislocate my shoulder one more time and this among many things (such as writing my thesis) became the nails that were pounded to my head. I lost my nerves and my consciousness several times as I broke down constantly because of the pressure I accepted to be immersed into.
I have to admit in all honesty that doing a Ph.D. has its ups and downs but one cannot proceed to do so if they can’t fathom the psychological torture that comes with it. You need to have a brave soul and a strong mind while doing so and many mistook it with a mere shrug. No wonder the news today talk about the depression that comes with doing a doctorate. People have to talk about it. I applaud the initiative of some to do so yet it is still not enough. Why do a Ph.D.? There are many reasons to do so but just to say that it is your only option because you chose to do a scientific path in the beginning shouldn’t be the reason to do so.
I have friends from all over the world who have chosen to do a Ph.D. as I have as well. Thank goodness I am done with it. I had this pictures in my mind of “what ifs” while I was on the brink of quitting my Ph.D. last year. Gladly enough, some people stood up with me and pulled me back up from the deep sea when I was drowning from all the imagined responsibilities I had to do just because I was told that I had to do them. Fast-forward to September 2017, I was able to survive past the depression and identity crisis that started from the last months of my Ph.D. And here I am, starting anew with a goal on promoting awareness on science education and communication. Hopefully, I will write regularly on the latest developments on science, technology, society and communication as these are the few of the many things I am very fond of talking or writing about.