Summer 2016

Le été

Yeah, so.

It’s been a while. BUT, I’ve made a firm to decision to blog everyday at my lunch break. Huzzah!
Second Year has been completed, with pretty okay marks, according to standard. But obviously, not my standard, so disappointment (and maybe a bit of crying) ensued after their release. But, on the plus side, I scored the most in French in both semesters, and that’s going to look fantastic on my degree record.
After handing in those loads of assignment, my zombie, autopilot state came to an end. Honestly, I can’t remember those 4 weeks, everything was a blur.
I got elected as Vice President of the South Asian Society, though. I get the label, without the responsibility of a lot of work. I mean, not really, but yeah. It is a lot of work, but mostly I supervise and suggest and keep a track of the timeline, while me and the President agree together to reach executive decisions. Helps that the President is one of my flatmates, and that we practically have the same views on a lot of things. 😀
As am I to be a graduate this time next year, the well known anxiety about the future has set it. After much debating and pondering, a PhD seems the next best fit for me. And it’s always been that I would do it in the States, so on I go with the GRE entrance exam, applications, SOPs, and more for graduate entry into the United States of America. I undertook a crash course for the exam back home (oh yes, I’m back in England) and the tentative date has been set in mid September. More on that later.
But, the most exciting piece of information, and the reason I’m in England for the summer – I got funding for my very own research project! It’s highly recommended that biomedical students get as much work experience as we can, because as it is, we don’t get a proper job working in a lab to conduct research unless we have at least a master’s degree. So, I emailed a bunch of professors whose profiles indicated research areas that intrigued me, and I got accepted by one of the professors who actually taught us a couple of lectures. Next step, and the major one, was recruiting funding for the project. We applied to 3 schemes, 2 of the University, and the Genetics Society UK – which is the main organisation or ‘society’ concerning genetics in the UK. And a completely astonishing term of events, I received the grant from the Genetics Society! I also later got the grant from one of the Uni ones, but since the amount both are providing is the same, I won’t receive the Uni one. But, oh my God. What even.
I did NOT expect that. AT ALL.
So, I’m getting paid for conducting research, all costs of equipment are covered in the grant, I’ll get too meet some of the leading people in the field when I go to present my project at their Summer Retreat, and I get to spend summer in England (which is insanely, bloody hot).
I’m going to be tracking the expression of one gene which is involved in the development of the gut. And get this, not in flies, or mice, but in actual human tissues! I cannot believe how perfectly all the work I’ve been putting in, my passion, and luck have come together this time. It’s validation for the fact about how much I love doing what I do, and it’s nice to be assured that I’m on the right path, for me.
Summer back home was terribly short, with the course lasting from 9-5 for 2 weeks , and an additional 2 weeks of shopping and meeting people. Not really a lot of time to lay back. And here, I’m at the Institute of Genetic Medicine (Eeeep!) from 9 a.m. till 4-4.30 p.m. 5 days a week, with gym after 3 times a week, and then coming home, cooking, eating, and studying for the exam. It’s super busy, but I kinda like it, this routine.

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