Through the eyes of a Clinical PhD student: Embracing difference


Be Different

Be Different (Photo credit: Vermin Inc)

Whether you are a uni student or not, you must read “Our own kind”  by Flynn over at Gradness Madness. It won’t take long and it’s worth it.

As Flynn writes, whatever your niche is, be it academia or rugby, it is amazing to find “your own kind”. Your kind are the people who ‘get it,’ whatever that ‘it’ is for you. I’ve been lucky enough to have stumbled upon “my kind” of people throughout my life, the people I can be  ‘me’ around, for whom I don’t feel the need to hide that I am a little ‘different’ or quirky because I was the kid who actually enjoyed school.

In high school this need to hide my differences was less of an issue and as a teen I can recall one of my teachers telling me that I would love university. They never said why in so many words, but it was the way they said it that stayed with me. I knew from my first year of undergrad what they meant – if you wanted to know more, to satiate your curiosity and to gain different perspectives, this was the place to be. As a postgrad, my teacher’s words have taken on new meaning, because, like Flynn, I have noticed that “my kind” are now everywhere. It’s brilliant! I can share something  and not have to explain why it’s exciting, I can talk enthusiastically about “nerdy” things, whether it’s research, classes or the latest assignment without feeling so self-conscious.

To echo Flynn, the people who don’t share all our interests (and frankly, who does?) are equally great. However, having sometimes perceived my  “nerdiness” as something I should avoid drawing attention to, this opportunity as a postgrad student to better embrace my differences has been a valuable learning curve. My nerdiness may not define me, but it is a part of me, and I’m finally allowing myself to “own it”.

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2 Comments

Filed under A day in the life, academic culture, Clinical Phd, Reflections

2 responses to “Through the eyes of a Clinical PhD student: Embracing difference

  1. This is something I can relate to very well… I remember that as a kid, I was always a little disappointed when holidays started and couldn’t wait until school started again… Tried to fit in with the rest anyway, which wasn’t always easy.

    I learned to accept these differences and am happy to be a nerd nowadays 🙂

  2. Pingback: 2012 Haiku | Honourable Mentions

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