As the graduate school starts, one has to find the right motivation to pursue. What I mean by right motivation here is the right way to approach a problem or a customised way of handling one’s priorities. Each person is unique and have their own way of understanding things. There is no specified way of doing things in a Ph.D. Each one has various motivations in life; to fulfill one’s ambition, to reach a particular position, to earn a good name, to be successful, etc. but they will not be the same for all. One has to choose his/her approach, based on one’s own motivation. And thus comparing is not worth it. The ultimate aim of the whole process is to gain knowledge and rediscover oneself.
I always felt good if things happened orderly and met the set goals. Thus, when I lag behind my schedule or failed to deliver on time, it bothers me and I lose my motivation. On the other hand my friend, Sudeshna, never had this constriction. She was more bent on getting the final set of results as opposed to the small set goals in the project. The approach to get to a final point is different for both of us and if we try to step into each other’s shoes then it will not be right. Having said this, there must be a striking balance that must be maintained in order to keep the track smooth.
Therefore let us discover ourselves in our own way. Eventually, we will come to know of our strengths and shortcomings. We will know what we absolutely do not like and how we want to project our self. Ultimately, “who can know me better than myself!”
Yes, the title tells it all. In a way, grad school is a challenge and a difficult one. To take it up or not, is completely our choice and none of the choice is bad. The only thing which needs to be kept in mind is how interested we are in doing so. This piece of information may not be a new one and must have been told several times, but is of high importance.
As a student we all aspire to do great things. Our academic knowledge thrusts us to ask us a lot of questions and we go to the graduate school to find answers to these questions. We may be fueled by the Sci-Fi movies that we see, Well, that might be true, get fascinated by the great achievements of several scientists. But what we tend to ignore is the path they took to get those achievements.Most of the times we need to depend on stern and rigorous means to achieve our goals. Therefore, when one chooses to be in a graduate school, one must know the challenges that lies ahead. As the quotes reads, “A smooth sea never makes a good sailor”, one should not be scared of this, rather take it as a challenge. There is no greater satisfaction than completing the challenge.
There are several factors which cross our head while we make this choice. The most important prey that I have faced in this regard is peer pressure from both sides. You are torn between what is practically right and what you are really interested. Although, every person has a different situation and they should choose according to their situation; it is also true that eventually your interests are what that matters the most. May be, practically, at that particular time, it will be hard to chose your interest but eventually it will be more effective. This brings to another aspect and that is time. There is no harm in taking time to make your decision and understand what you actually want . Life is good both ways and regretting later, is not very beneficial.
As one of my college-mate puts down, the lab has been like her mate and that their relation is a love-hate one. Thus, like any other relation, it needs efforts to maintain this relation and will be rewarding, eventually. You need to love what you are doing and love begets happiness and happiness, they say, needs to be pursued. (philosophy duh! wait, but it is called doctor of philosophy!! Umm…) But the reality is, making the right choice is necessary. Also, we need to bear in mind that things being hard is different from not liking a thing.
Make the right turn and the destination would be just around the corner…
The time is around 11:00 pm and I m sitting in my room browsing. Like every other student, I opened my facebook and was going through the notifications. Only then did I see the NIUS-experiences by Mrityunjay bhaiyya and Anurag bhaiyya. I read through and I drifted and all my own experiences flashed across my mind.
I scored the highest marks in a chemistry quiz, seeing that my instructor had asked me to apply for the NIUS-program. It was almost the last day that I sent the application. I was not at all sure of this. Like everyone else had mentioned in their experience about the prejudice about engineering, I too had the same feeling. By my teacher’s grace I got selected and for the first time, I went for a science camp oriented for doing research and that too by undergrads. I was thrilled and excited. It was hard to leave home as it was the first time that I was coming back from hostel after nearly 5 months (staying away from home from the first time). I reached Mumbai-the city of dreams as all say and HBCSE.
The place itself had a feeling that makes you feel graced for being there. In the camp, there were students from many parts of the country. Somehow all the girls in the group came together and we all bonded very well. We used to attend lectures in the morning; although many parts of the lectures went above our heads, we could get the essence of all. We used to discuss our lectures in the evening and then after dinner we used to talk and chat a lot. The days soon got over and I miss those days till now, some of the best days of my life. During that period I stayed with Ashina didi and everyday when I used to go to room, I used to see her doing her work, reading through papers; which gave me a flavor of how things are to be done. Learning can be done from anywhere only that you have to take up the opportunity; the first thing NIUS taught me. While leaving HBCSE, I went through the Mankhurd station road. There is a Ram temple over there. I prayed to God to shower his blessings so that I get selected and I did get selected.
In my first summer, I studied a lot of literature. It was the first time in my life that I was actually going through this process. Many a times, I got jammed and tried to solve my problems. But the one most required thing that I didn’t do was speaking out my problems. I had problems, everyone has but I didn’t speak. I tried to cover them up. But still my mentor Indrani ma’m never gave up on me and she always kept pursuing me. Keeping up patience is a great thing in science and keeping up this, working hard and determinately, is a key to success. My second most important lesson form NIUS. I completed my first phase of work in NIUS.
I always looked up to people like Rohit bhaiyya. I always used to hear about him in my college but didn’t have a chance to get to know him. I used to see him and I realized that doing something whole-heartedly is very much essential for keeping up the spirits of the work. I use to see all my immediate seniors working hard and never giving up. Although unfortunately many of my fellow batch-mates had left, but these people and some of my own friends gave me the spirits to be back and not leave. Whatever it was, the days were enjoyable. The ice-cream parlor visits, where Ashna di, Sheetal di and Juhi di used to give me and Kajari the boost for working for the next day; the chit-chat during lunch breaks and tea-breaks with Tejal di, Sonali di and kavita di were all memorable.