So this is gonna be a wordy post and one that’s a little more introspective than usual.
Luna has officially destroyed 3 beds. 2 of which
are were Indy’s. #overit #fedup
A foam party is not the thing you want to come home to after a rough day. Especially when it’s the second day in a row that you come home to a foam party after a rough day. For clarity, I’m not talking about the fun foam party that’s kinda sketchy but super fun and usually hosted in clubs. I’m talking about bed foam EVERYWHERE. Seriously. Say a prayer for my vacuum cleaner.
Today was not a bad day. It was a rough day. It was a why-am-i-in-grad-school day. Not just because it was hard but because it was one of those days where I wonder if I should even get a PhD.
My brain is not a ‘typical’ engineering PhD kinda brain. Nor is it a ‘typical’ science PhD kinda brain. These brains I define as: people who meticulously plan experiments to prove a hypothesis that will agree with the field standard while adding new knowledge to that field. The people I interact with on a daily basis are constantly proving new science based on old theory. They study equations and understand the theory of why ‘things’ act the way they do. They model and prove their experimental data with fundamental knowledge of whatever particular field. Which is totally how this should work!
I really really wish my brain worked like that sometimes.
Compared to said professors and students that I interact with, I’m total chaos. I make decisions based on my engineering/science common sense and gut feelings. Sometimes I go back and prove my work with math. Sometimes I meticulously plan out experiments (rarely actually). I especially don’t come up with a hypothesis in a field that follows fundamental laws and can be proved with said meticulously planned experiments and tests.
Instead, I come up with off the wall crazy ideas that may or may not work and may or may not be actual research. Sometimes I can run with them and a ‘scientific sounding’ paper comes out because I can go back and add an equation to my gut feeling. However that is a very painful and drawn out process that frustrates me and my adviser.
What usually ends up happening is I come up with a super cool thing. Companies like this thing. People like this thing. But it’s not research, it’s a prototype or demo.
Demo =/= PhD
When someone grills me on theory and math behind my work, I freeze up and end up talking a bunch of nonsense until someone (my adviser) jumps in and actually explains what I’m trying to talk about. Then a circular argument develops and the conclusion is that I need to science better.
Will my brain work in an industry job that develops cool stuff? aw hell yeah. But I honestly don’t know if I’m ‘wired’ for this whole PhD thing.
Add this version of impostor syndrome to the already pretty severe female-in-engineering/typical-grad-student impostor symptoms and my mental drug cocktail starts to make a little more sense.
Well, this wasn’t the most exciting post, but oh well. Shenanigans will return soon!