It’s a Beautiful Life

by Kate Morris

Being a fairly anxious person, I was a ball of nerves as the start of my honours
year loomed closer and closer. Would I cope with the workload? Am I cut out
to deal with the stress of postgraduate life? Will I manage to adapt to the
transition and bid farewell to my days as an undergraduate student? According
to most opinions imparted on me regarding postgraduate life, all of those
questions were met in my head with a resounding no.
And how pleasantly surprised I have been. Don’t get me wrong, being an
honours student ain’t easy, but to say I have loved my first semester of my
course in neuroscience & physiology would be a serious understatement. I
have had the opportunity to be taught by lecturers who are intelligent and
inspiring, to explore a whole new campus, experience life at a different
university, and to witness the bond that has formed between the 12 students
of my honours stream. I have found the content that we have covered so
invigorating and have very much appreciated the time I have managed to
spend in the lab – along with the additional skills I have acquired. And while
the prospect of taking on an experiment that will result in the writing of my
first thesis in the next few months is rather frightening, it is also absolutely
amazing. Second semester, bring it on!
Of course, the deadlines, the workload, the amount that we are sometimes
required to juggle at one point in time is challenging. Since I was expecting to
never have any time for myself and to be constantly drowning in work, as
often was the case in undergrad, I have found it difficult at times to adjust to
the workload and way of learning in postgrad – let along take some much needed rest! The situation in the world at the moment resulting in
predominantly online learning does not help this, and towards the end of this
semester I have found myself feeling particularly burnt out.
However, I have to say that the support and guidance I have received from all
levels of the academic hierarchy – be it masters/PhD/post-doc students,
lecturers, or medical doctors – has been outstanding. While there were
elements of this in my undergraduate days, the sheer minuteness of our
honours classes and the structure of postgrad in general has allowed for the
support to be more pronounced for me. When asked what the best things
have been about my honours year, the atmosphere of postgrad and the feeling
that there are so many people around you who are rooted in your success is
definitely at the top of my list.
I wait in anticipation for what this next semester will bring, and the journey
that this year will send me on. I am so grateful to be given this opportunity to
study what I love in a time when science is once again proving itself immensely
and is at the forefront of so many aspects of our lives today. I am proud of the
field I chose to study in, and I am proud of where I am today. It’s been a
beautiful year, it’s a beautiful life.

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