I will start my second blog post, which is supposed to give you a brief hint on why I call this blog ‘experimental behaviour’, with the cheesiest line any movie, text, or song could ever begin: ‘When I was a kid…’
When I was a kid I often asked myself how grown-ups, especially my parents, could be sure about certain things. For example, they would always exclaim that, had I not done this or that, something else (most often something bad) wouldn’t have happened. That is something which, especially when you are a grown-up, is very easy to say. In a sense they were claiming that they felt certain about a cause-effect relationship, allowing them to infer from some behaviour the probability or direction of certain outcomes, e.g. events. Very often, establishing cause-effect relationships like this is very sensible and without problems. Still, sometimes this can also be very reckless and assumptive. Continue reading why experimental behaviour?
When I started my PhD in April 2015, I almost instantly felt that I wasn’t accomplishing anything substantial, even before I had the chance to do anything substantial. At that time I was convinced I was the only one feeling that way. At least by now I know from talking to several other people that just started their PhD that, I am no exception.
It took me a lot of hard thinking in order to apply for a PhD after finishing my Master. I didn’t just wake up one morning and knew that I was going to do it. Even though it had been an option for me for a long time, I was never really sure whether I was good enough to accomplish this. It felt more like a dream than a reality. My application for a fellowship was more a way of finding out whether I would be accepted for something like this. As it turned out, my grades were good enough.
Eventually, through some inspiring talks with my then-roommate (plus a bottle of cheap absinth) and my then-colleague (no absinth, because too much of it makes you blind), I decided to accept the scholarship. This happened four hours before the deadline. Afterwards: more absinth, and moving to Hamburg.
Continue reading start of phd