Attending the two national/international conferences in New Mexico and Oregon have given me a look into the world of research and academia as a community. I have to admit though, it’s not all I thought it was going to be. Maybe I had built myself up too high of expectation from previous, smaller, student and regional conferences.
I wanted to like it. I wanted to enjoy it. Something about the atmosphere of it all didn’t sit well with me. The many talks listed in the conference handbooks seemed at once, exciting, daunting, mysterious, and yet ultimately were disappointing. I remember thinking at the end of the first day of the conference that I would never make it through a week of the same. While I made it through in one piece, it left the impression that academia and the career in research were not suited for me.
It’s funny though that I should feel this way, since I enjoy doing the research itself and working the wet bench in the lab. I am having serious second thoughts about this situation with getting a PhD. I’ll need some more time to think things over, collect my thoughts, and to get some outside advise. At the least, at the end of all this, I’ll have finally forced myself to sit down and think seriously about who I am as a person, what I value in life, what it is that I want to do with my career. Until next time; cheers!