Meaning in the MonolithSchool stresses me out. I work very hard. But I do well: Dean's List both consecutive years, on my way towards a third. School can consume my every waking thought. During crunch time, I'm either working, thinking about working, or wondering what work I could be doing. It's far from pleasant to feel this way, but it's just how I operate to get what I want out of my life. I'm fully prepared, and committed, to making these sacrifices.
Sometimes, a rare day will come along where I can set all this aside and take a step back. This has happened to me in the past few days.
Yesterday we finished enriching and impoverishing the rats for my undergraduate thesis experiment (
Instead of focusing on all the nitty gritty details of what's gone wrong, how it could fuck up the results and remove any chance of publication, of how much I've dedicated to this, how hard I've worked on it, how sleep deprived and exhausted I am, I realized how much fun I've been having. Yes, fun! Christine and I have had so many hilariously fun moments with our rats: cooped up in a tiny room with the critters running all over us. We always manage to laugh and have a general good time.
I get to be a part of this scientific community: instead of just reading about theories and experiments, I've been fortunate enough to be able to do my own. To test theories I'm interested in, to carry out my own experiment, to contribute to the general scientific knowledge. The topic of my thesis has serious potential therapeutic uses for people with aging related memory deficits. This isn't some meaningless project strictly for a grade. This means something, and I realized that today.
While University life can be fake, and contrived, and monolithic, it can also be such a great environment to challenge and enrich your own life. I love it when I come hope skipping because I'm just about ready to explode with knowledge. I love it when I get a chance to think in a different way, to learn something I find so fascinating that I just want to run home so I can talk to someone about it. Of course, there's hardly every anyone that I can talk to about it, but that doesn't always matter. What matters is I know how to appreciate what I'm fortunate enough to receive, and I'm lucky enough to be able to enjoy it.
Listening to: Raven - Dave Matthews Band