Manic Mondays - the ups and downs of a PhD journey

It’s just another Monday and you are breaking your head on an experiment that really doesn’t want to work, or you are dealing with the frustration of getting your paper rejected, maybe you are motivated designing a new project or you got exciting results that you can’t wait to share with your supervisor. Wherever you are today, so many other PhD students out there know exactly what you are going through!

We all know that Mondays can be difficult, they force us to face all the problems and responsibilities that we ignored for the entire weekend (assuming we can afford the luxury of a weekend off), and in some periods of my PhD every day felt as if it was a Monday. But I didn’t like the negative connotation that it had for me, and I tried to focus on the positive feelings, like the excitement for a new start, the world of possibilities that could open in front of my eyes every Monday if I just had the awareness to look for it. And since then I try to transform every day of my PhD in a Monday, with the new meaning of “opportunity to embrace new challenges and overcome my fears”.

Along this way I met Amani, who involved me in this crazy beautiful project of creating a supportive community for scientists, to talk about what’s great in our job but also to discuss where we struggle and how we can make it better, and that’s how this post is coming to life!

You probably already saw this very popular comic from PHD Comics (according to their website it’s the 8th most popular of all!)

Agreeing with it or not, it made me think that Science seems a lot like a jealous lover, who demands undivided attention and absolute dedication, in exchange for the access to fascinating new knowledge and a good amount of misery along the way. So how can we change this passionate love story full of sleepless nights and coffee into a healthier relationship? For sure there’s not one recipe working for everyone, but I would like to create a space to figure it out together, every Monday, to start the day and the week with a smile and some tips or ideas on how not to get overwhelmed by the many challenges of the PhD.

Stay tuned until next Monday!

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