The Sassy Scientist – Merry Crisis: Spark Lost, Chocolate Found

The Sassy Scientist – Merry Crisis: Spark Lost, Chocolate Found

Congratulations, you resilient academic warrior! You’ve made it through the year without evaporating like a snowflake in July. Now, brace yourself for the gift I’ve carefully curated just for you. Spoiler alert: It’s not a reset button for life, though I’m sure some folks desperately need one. Now, let’s unwrap the gift of wisdom. Leena asks:

Sometimes, I feel like I cannot continue my PhD, it feels like it is not going anywhere. What do I do?

Dear Leena,

-Whew, talk about a toughie! It’s tough for both you and me.- So you’ve stumbled into the academic labyrinth, and trust me, even I get lost in the maze of existential musings every now and then. But fear not! ‘Tis the season for pondering life’s mysteries while sipping cocoa in the company of fairy lights. So, let’s cut to the chase and get to the answer.

Whether it’s during our PhD or afterwards as a postdoc, I’m sure we’ve all felt stuck at some point. I think it is important to question why you feel that way. Maybe it is the topic or the environment, or perhaps you are just feeling burnt out. Or maybe, just maybe, hear me out, it’s time to bid farewell to the ivory tower. We’ve all faced those moments when our research feels as exciting as watching paint dry. It’s okay to lose that spark. Working on a topic for eons can make anyone feel like a burnt-out yule log. Academic expectations? Don’t get me started. They’re like tangled Christmas lights – frustrating but manageable. You’ll get back to it soon enough. Just gotta take a breather and come back swinging. Or not, that’s okay too. Without taking a deep dive into questioning why you feel that way, it is a bit difficult to find a solution, you know? Try journaling. It can help you navigate through your thoughts and emotions. It’s self-reflection and cinnamon biscuit time. Who am I kidding, bring the mulled wine over here!

I hope you find the exit of this maze soon.

Yours truly,
The Sassy Scientist

P.S. Yes, there was again a climate pun. Well spotted.

P.P.S. Feeling down? Grab some chocolate. I’d send you a sassy advent calendar if I knew you. Oh well, treat yourself to a hot chocolate on me.

P.P.P.S. No, I’m not typing this with a mouthful of chocolate. Okay, maybe just a little.

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I am currently employed at a first tier research institute where I am continuously working with the greatest minds to further our understanding of the solid Earth system. Whether it is mantle or lithosphere structure and dynamics, solid Earth rheology parameters, earthquake processes, integrating observations with model predictions or inversions: you have read a paper of mine. Even if you are working on a topic I haven’t mentioned here, I still know everything about it. Do you have any problems in your research career? I have already experienced them. Do you struggle with your work-life balance? Been there, done that. Nowadays, I have only one hobby: helping you out by answering the most poignant questions in geodynamics, research and life. I am waiting for you right here. Get inspired.

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