Leaving the Lab

After 3+ years of manual labour (not counting undergrad studies) it is time to leave the hood and write up the thesis. I must say, it’s been a very good time, with good colleagues in the lab and also some reasonable results. I now have about two weeks left to finish the stuff that I’m currently working on.

After all this time, it will feel strange to leave my workspace behind and move to a desk. I know my hood so well, the way all the labware is sorted, that I could probably set up a column blind-folded. Time to move on! From now on, I’ll be spending my days in front of the computer screen. In the beginning, I expect the paperwork to be a nice change, but I’m pretty sure that it will get boring really quickly. For my future career, I cannot imagine having a desk job, although I’m sure the point will come where I’ll have no choice. The writing time will give me a taste of that future.

Looking back, somehow I feel that I have not accomplished very much during my PhD. It seems to me that I could have obtained the same results in much less time. Some of the problems I encountered now seem pretty trivial to me, so I ask myself why I spent so much time on them. I guess it’s always like that in retrospect…

Anyway, I’ll add a picture of a kitten (taken from here).

Graduation Cat


  1. When I started writing up I too had many regrets about things that weren’t sorted or figured out, I think th. I am happy now after looking back but I kind of felt like I had a big fish that got away somehow. Also, I found in the first 2 weeks of writing up that I wanted it all to be over and move on to the next thing and actually was a little depressed when i had to go deal with the boss about the manuscript. Maybe we all go throught the same transiton period?

  2. Congrats on finishing the lab work.

    Do you have any advice for new graduate students in the chemistry field? Reflecting on your three years in the lab, is there anything you would do differently that could be applied to the general student. Any tips would be most appreciated.


    • Okay, I’ll try…

      First of all: *Talk to other people!* There are other chemists in your group, and some of them will be at least as experienced as you. If you have a problem, chances are that somebody already knows the solution.

      Another point is that usually there is a long time to get “into” the project, where you don’t get too many results (a few months at least). This is normal, and shouldn’t worry you too much.

      Hmm… maybe I’ll add a blog post to elaborate…

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