Today I bring you a post that’s rather different than the rest. A more thoughtful post, coming to you straight from my heart at 4 am. Granted, there are no photos (outfit post next week!), but I still have some thoughts to share. Take it as some food for thought.
I just spent the evening in the ER with my boyfriend after he injured his leg playing sports (don’t worry, he’s ok!), and it got me thinking about what I really want to do with my life.
I am a people person. I love interacting with and helping people. I see it every day when I’m at work and a student asks me a question or needs advice on an experiment. Sometimes I wish I had the opportunity to work in retail or even food service, so I can interact with more people. In some ways I feel like being at the bench all day is kind of lonely. But then again, seeing the fruits of my labor in the form of data is rather gratifying and exciting! As I was sitting in the exam room with my boyfriend, a thought popped into my head. What if I became a medical doctor after my PhD? That way I could directly interact with and impact patients. And then I thought about the sheer amount of time and debt I would get into by not doing an MD/PhD program… (darn it Andrea, why didn’t you think of this sooner?!)
I am a scientist, I am a female, I am a fashionista at heart with a passion for research and helping others. I want to inspire others to do their best, while also creating something I can call my own.
This blog acts as a creative outlet for me, and while I don’t have 20k Instagram followers or Facebook likes, I love the little community I feel I have built with other bloggers. I think it’s ridiculous that companies won’t consider working with you because you don’t have a certain number. Because you know what? Anyone can buy followers, likes, or comments today! It’s astonishing!
Something else that shocks me, is the sheer amount of money that goes into a lot of other industries, yet basic research goes unnoticed – we need money to cure diseases and make discoveries! In the lab I work in, it has become really hard to get funding because our work might not be as “sexy” as the next lab that claims to have a cure for a certain disease. And because of lack of funding, we are stuck using 30 year old machines that break down every other day. It is rather sad when the Kardashians and other supposed celebrities make so much money to last them lifetimes and we can barely afford to buy a $2,000 machine necessary to do our experiments… So we struggle with broken old machines, through a PhD that is already another underpaid struggle… Sigh.
I am starting to get excited about my Barcleona trip next month for the conference and then my mini vacation on Cyprus! I am already thinking about possible outfits and going shopping to buy some fresh things!
Do you have any thoughts about any of these issues?
Does setting a number goal for number of followers sound ridiculous to you?
Does the fact that as researchers we make basically less than minimum wage but the latest dumb celebrity can get millions for nothing? Do society standards need to change?
Would you ever be willing to donate money directly to a lab (rather than a research foundation) knowing the moment would go straight to paying for useful equipment?
I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on these topics!
Anyway, off to bed! Thanks for listening!
4 am! And writing! Well, why not – cause I loved to know more about you and your thoughts. I agree with ALL you said. Step by step: I am glad your bf is OK now; a medical doctor would be amazing, so you could interact with people, directly. But yes, it's a long road now, There are some professions that need to be sorted when leaving school, cause they take many years. It's not like changing from economist to actress or actress to a 4 year-degree on business. BUT having said that, I believe that if you want it, you can do it! I agree with you and celebrities that make millions – do they donate something to charity? Or to research? There are so many diseases that could have more research to find cure. I would donate, yes.And followers – don't worry about it, you are right. What counts is the amount of people who are interested on your thoughts! I had some arguments some time ago with a "friend". I said I wanted to do something else, to write something else on the blog, because just posting clothes negates what I am. She was mad, wrote me so many times saying "a blog doesn't have to offer anything, just relaxation". I agree with ALL you said, as stated before and I loved this post – pictures are not always the main thing. I hope you have an amazing time in Barcelona and Cyprus, I am sure you will! Kisses!
i really appreciate you reading my ramblings denise! it's nice to know that people want to hear what I think rather than just the clothes! It is great to have the clothes but also some substance! and yea you are right, there are some professions that need to be figured out when first leaving school, i probably wont go to medical school but it was a consideration 🙂
thanks for the wishes for barcelona and cyprus! I cant wait! xo Andrea
How nice 🙂 New on my French blog: "How to straighten your hair and eat Strawberries Tagada at the same time" 🙂 🙂
Love your musings, Andrea! I am with you all the way on my frustration with companies not working with those of us who don't have tens of thousands of followers. So true that it's not reflective of real following! Glad your boyfriend is okay! These types of incidents always get me to thinking as well. Hugs on your week! T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com
thanks so much for taking the time to read my post Tina! and glad to know others also feel similar about the companies who look for tens of thousands of followers! xo
Love this honest post, Andrea! It can be really tough for us academics to figure out what we want to be when we "grow up". I've gone through a similar issue, which is actually why I started my blog. Needed a creative outlet! It's really hard because academia and "real world" jobs can be so political and bureaucratic that it seems like there's no real way to make a difference for the better. Have you thought about joining an NGO? That was one of the first options I thought of when you mentioned wanting to work with data but also wanting to help people. If you do research in health, there are a lot of NGOs that need people with your kind of expertise. Of course, some of the larger NGOs can be just as political as a money mongering company but there are a few good ones out there. Anyway, loving these posts and I'm SO glad your guy is ok! 🙂
– Amanda @ http://academiquechic.com/
thanks so much for reading my post amanda! glad to know people care to read my thoughts! and I agree with you, needing a creative outlet, its nice to prepare a post even though i had an exhausting day at work, because its something different and enjoyable! I'll have to check out NGOs, thanks for the suggestion! xo Andrea
hey andrea. so sorry to hear about your boyfriend. how scary and quick things can happen. hope he heals quickly doll. if you want to be a doctor, then do it. but i would think about what you want out of LIFE first. you have a boyfriend and that could turn into a marriage. do you want kids? do you want to spend time with your kids? hahaha do you want to travel? doctors get paid, but they lead very busy schedules. it's something to consider. a lot of brands do only pay attention to numbers and nowadays BIG numbers. it really saddens me. as a matter of fact, many beauty brands are bypassing written blogs and now only giving products to youtubers. it's a change that undergoing right now. i've been lucky to work with Aveeno for 2 years and I work with some other brands, but for the most part I review beauty products from my own money that I would buy anyway. LOL I did this before blogging (finding new products), but now I have a medium to tell others what I think. My undergraduate was biology chemistry and my masters was Envirionmental Policy. Science is so important! But unfortunately not enough goes into research. Some don't care UNTIL something medically devastating happens to them or their family. Some people do and constantly give. But overall, old and faulty equipment is so unacceptable in this day and age. Those are my thoughts. Sorry I wrote a book. LOL
thanks so much for your comment Kim!!! and thanks for the well wishes for my bf! he is doing well! and very good advice, you make a lot of good points with what I want out of life, having a family, traveling, etc. i think i'l stick to grad school for now 🙂
omg, i didnt realize companies were moving to youtubers now! i've tried to do youtube videos but way too much effort/time for me, I actually like reading blogs because i dont have to turn off whatever im listening to or watching to listen to a video, but sometimes they are nice to watch when im too lazy to read! i didnt know you are a scientist too! so cool! xo Andrea
Beautiful post dear, I think that having goals is important. also loving what you do is essential.
thats very true jenny! goals is important but loving what you do is the most important thing!!! thanks for reading! xo Andrea