July 2019

Years of graduate school grind can leave students in a place of routine. You wake up, shower while listening to that same playlist as the week and month before, eat a quick breakfast, and get to work. Here your day is different – isolating organelles, using a fluorescence microscope, or learning how to make and validate liposomes. But once your long day is over and you are mentally and sometimes physically exhausted, you cook something quick, eat while watching something on Netflix, and go to bed. There might be more freedom on the weekends, but chores need to be done and more lab work.

I look for new things to do to break this suffocating routine. Trying new recipes is an easy one but I always stick to familiar ingredients so everything I cook has onion and tomato in it with an Italian flare. Is this just the illusion of trying new things? I started to learn to play tennis but need to find a groove to consistently fit it in from week to week. I have started playing before work which beats the heat, but my body would so much rather sleep. Finally, this summer I try to dedicate one day of the weekend to fun. I paint or hike or just enjoy another’s company.

Basically, I am trying to stay vigilant in trying new things to help me grow personally and not professionally. This is something I know that I need to stay sane.

WORD TO THE WISE: Stay vigilant and try new things.

---Donna Iadarola
Donna Iadarola is a PhD student in the College of Agriculture

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