Vitae GRADschool: The Journey to Lake Windermere

Yesterday, me and my friend Sarah made the long journey from a sunny Essex to the more remote Lake Windermere in the Lake District. This involved getting a train to Liverpool Street Station in London, hopping on two underground trains to make our way to Euston Station, whizzing off on an express train to a very rainy Preston, and from there heading out to Oxenholme (where ever that is) and, finally, to Windermere. We left at about 2:30pm, and didn’t make it to Windermere Station until gone 8pm. Needless to say, we were pretty tired by the time we got to our hotel.

The reason for all this running around the country on trains goes back a few months, when I received an email from NERC (Natural Environment Research Council), the funding body of my PhD, informing us of this course that was being run in October by Vitae called GRADschool, which aims to help PhD students make the most of their doctorate and become better researchers. Me and Sarah signed up and got accepted, and off we went yesterday in the hopes we would come back with new insight on our doctorates.

So far, I’ve already realised one thing: I absolutely love my PhD. Some people I’ve spoken to are very dejected about their research, and actually don’t even find their subject area interesting. Not only do I love my subject, but I like where my research is heading and I have big events coming up that I am looking forward to. I feel that my area of research is making a difference and is an incredibly important thing for the future of our oceans and our world. There is nothing else in the world I would rather do. That in itself is incredibly reaffirming, and actually even made me say, “I really really love plankton.”

So, for now I have to leave it at this. I have an early start tomorrow and want to be in the best shape possible. I will write another entry at the end of the course, and will include some photos! For now though, I’m just hoping I can get even more out of this course than I have already in less than 24 hours.

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