In the train now. Slowly rolling towards London. What a strange day it was. Some confusion sprinkled with stress. Maybe just another usual day as a PhD student. I still hope to get used to this way of working. I’m in my second year now so one would assume I’m used to it by now. But I’m not there yet. It is still a journey, still a balancing act, still a learning experience. How to deal with the people around you, the ones you rely on, and the ones that share your journey? How to manage projects with unclear outcomes and novel techniques? How to manage yourself? How much work can you really deal with, what keeps you motivated, what should you avoid? In that respect, a PhD is not only a scientific endeavor but also a self-finding process. Really. One of my former bosses said: it’s character shaping. And it is true. You’ll change. Inevitably. Even when you might not notice it yourself. Like when your grandparents used to visit, when you were younger, and seemed so surprised how much you have changed since their last visit. You do change. You’ll grow with your challenges. Everyday a little bit. Step by step. Mostly unnoticed, just like a tree grows.
Today I’m off to London. I’m going to meet a researcher and his lab to discuss a project I have in mind. Fast your seatbelt, I’m finally back working with bumblebees again. Somehow I started to miss empirical experiments. After all, they are vital to test the predictions of my computational models. I’m excited about the idea to collaborate. And I’m excited about working with bees again.