Welp, The first annual DLF Retreat has officially come to an end.
For our last and final day, we spent a few hours discussing each of our individual research endeavors in order to provide feedback to one another. A few interesting things came from this, for me anyways. One, I feel like I have a better understand of what others are doing, as well as what I am doing and how I might conduct my research. Something I've been told and am really starting to realize is true is that everyone's path to the PhD is different. Two, I realized how important, if not vital, it is to get other perspectives on the research you do; there are some things that others know or that others see that you might not. And finally, I feel more confident in the work I'm doing and the feasibility of doing big things with a small, simple idea.
After that, we headed back...but first made a much deserved stop at a local donut shop. I got a maple bacon donut and a Turtle Mocha Iced Coffee...yes, I said turtle. It was pretty damn good though it had nothing on the donut :). The donut shop also doubled as our place of reflection from the weekend. I think we all felt good about what we did and the ideas we came up with. Most of what we did we all thought went well, however, some points for improvement we discussed included having a shorter retreat, including new students in the mix (possibly having small more frequent retreats for the whole lab), and possibly even incorporating our significant others (who are obviously also affected by our decision to pursue a PhD). We actually had some productive conversations on the way back about work/life balance with significant others; this is something I personally always struggle with. My boyfriend is a little older than me and is much more ready to have kids than I am. If I wasn't getting my PhD I probably would have started a family by now but we decided together it would be best to wait (although he definitely makes it known that he wouldn't mind trying now). These type of decisions vary by relationship, but it's definitely an important aspect of the PhD to consider.
Now that I'm back home, part of me is hype about digging back into my research and going back into the lab with a new perspective, new ideas, and plans for moving forward...and part of me wants to sit and stare at a wall and do nothing for the rest of the evening. Maybe I can just put together a plan for next week so I feel productive :)
Either way, I think this weekend was a huge success. I can't wait to see the changes put into place. Now we just have to hope the rest of the lab doesn't kill us for switching shit up :P
B signing off. Until next time!