PhD Diaries: The Halfway Point

There comes a time in every PhD student’s life when realisation hits that the number of months spent studying for the PhD so far roughly equal the number of months to go until the final deadline. That is, you’re at the halfway point, and there’s still so very much to get done before that final binding of the PhD. It feels a little bit like finding yourself standing at the bottom of a huge mountain called the Thesis. But don’t worry, you came equipped with a polar fleece, walking sticks and a fully insulated sleeping bag. The Thesis is climbable. Not quite an Everest, but more of a Ben Nevis.

Of course, it is daunting to know that the deadline is starting to become not something in the far future but something in the kinda-sorta-near future. This is where I am at right now. Although I’m obviously a little scared, I am also hugely excited to be heading in the direction that I am with my project. I feel like the loose strands of my research are slowly but surely coming together over time to form a whole project. Like a reverse Big Bang, or something.

Right now, I’m working in the lab alongside another PhD student with our samples (bird blood) collected from the 2016 and 2017 field seasons. I am really enjoying getting stuck into lab work, extracting DNA and running PCRs. There is something very satisfying about gradually working through samples day by day! I am hoping to be done with the first part of lab work by Christmas, but we shall see how it goes. Looking forward to having some good data so that I can start tackling the first chapter of my thesis.

Wish me luck!

– Robyn

Follow my PhD updates on Instagram: @pixie.zoologist

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