I really couldn't tell you how the year has flown by so quickly - looking back it still seems like early January. Time has a stealthy way of sneaking past. I have decided that on this Canada day, there is no better day to refocus. Refocusing takes quite a bit of time and energy, and so I have shied away from it for a little while. Living life passively tends to come quite naturally - and the sick feeling in your stomach can be surprisingly easy to ignore.
I've found adjusting to "adult", graduate student life a bit difficult. For so many years you are told exactly what to do, grades are the main goal, and it's very easy to mark how successful you are by a letter (and hopefully a plus)! As a grad student I've found there are no "real" markers of success. You hope for your experiments to work, you read papers, and you try attend conferences. The goal is life long learning - and the acquirement of a degree. But none of these afford instant gratification - you really have to work for them. It's not like a test that you can cram for the night before. This is the part I've had the worst time adjusting to. I lose sight of long term fulfillment, and the reality that something worthwhile takes hard work and dedication.
I just finished watching Djokovic defeat Tsonga at Wimbledon to move into the finals for the first time, and claim the world #1 ranking. Djokovic has played amazing this year - he's been untouchable with a 47-1 winning streak. As I was watching him play, it sunk into my head that he has worked so hard and so long for this. I can certainly do that for my Masters.
I am going to channel my energy into refocusing for the next 6 months of the year, and into pursuing passions outside of graduate school as well. I need to get rid of the girl who lounges in front of the TV after work, and find out all the wonderful things she is capable of.