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Hey Loves! I’m Caitlyn the girl behind ChemGradBoom. A blog about taking life with a little salt, a slice of lime and shot of tequila or life of a graduate student, whichever version you prefer!

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Final Year & Self Doubt

My time here in the UK is dwindling down, it seems that my time for my PhD is now fastly approaching its end date. With project changes, lack of planning on all parties, and my lacklustre enthusiasm of the changes - I now approach the LAST YEAR of my PhD.

This year will be filled with writing, discussions preparing me for my viva (hopefully), painful revisions and lots of self-doubts. As I sit here now, I am headed down to London to assist a colleague with some glass analysis. Sure this doesn't have anything to do with my research but it does give me the one thing that I am missing in my PhD, time in a lab.

With any research project, the likely hood of everything going as planned is extremely improbable. In the end, that is research, which is something that I have struggled with grasping during my time in Scotland.

I am used to instruments breaking, results not being what you expect and even project 'shifts' due to the nature of the research - I am not used to changing an ENTIRE project due to poor planning. It was halfway through my PhD when the 'official' word came down that the instrument I have waited to use would never be available to me. While I knew much earlier that I was (most likely) never going to be able to use the instrument for my research I still had hope.

So as I head into my last year of my PhD, a time of self-doubt, stress and lots of reflection about my project I plan to savour every moment that I have left. This project brought me to Scotland, it has expanded my horizons in terms of life outside the lab and most importantly this year will be the test of how much I can achieve.


So to all the self-doubters out there and whatever you may be working towards - remember that 'It always seems impossible until it's done' - Nelson Mandela



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Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 - Year In Review

Let's have a big review of 2016.


The Travel List


  • Barcelona and Girona, Spain - June 
  • Sheffield, UK - September 
  • Rome, Italy - October 
  • London and the NFL Game- October 
  • North Carolina and Las Vegas- November
  • Cairo, Egypt - December - Cancelled (No cheap flights)


The PhD List

  • Conference in Sheffield September
  • 3 Chapters in my Dissertation finished
  • Submit one publication

The Personal List 

  • Work on my fitness/health
  • Exercise 3-4 times a week
  • Make a schedule and stick to it
  • Set Daily/Weekly Goals and review how well I stick to them

The 'US' To-Do List 

  • Try Korean BBQ/ Hot Pot Dinner
  • Go to see the Highland Games
  • Visit the Highlands
  • Visit: Rome, Brussels, and London
  • Trip to the Edinburgh Zoo
  • Go to see 5 Fringe Shows  
  • See a rugby game
  • See the Tattoo in August

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