Prior to recording our most recent episode of Her Royal Science, my partner and I did something we often do absentmindedly around the house: sing theme-songs from our favourite childhood shows. Immediately thereafter, we began our reflection of the last four years, as I successfully passed my PhD oral examination this month, officially becoming 'Dr Asma' in the process. The month leading up to the defence flew by, but I can't say the same for the four years leading up to it. There were countless moments of exasperation, exhaustion, and, to be frank, sadness. But there were also moments of joy, many of which I discuss in the episode. I personally found the experience of telling my story cathartic, so if you think you might enjoy an hour or two of introspection and reflection (in whatever form best suits you), I undoubtedly encourage you to do so.
After finishing the editing for this episode, I couldn't help but draw parallels between little me and present me. As a child, I loved school (especially biology, mathematics, creative writing, and languages), and I also loved media, playing around with my parents' camcorder to record my own version of the news. I even had a mock radio show for a while. In reaching the end of 2019, I came to the realisation that I have become the young adult my little self hoped I'd be. I am a neuroscientist, a podcaster, a spoken-word artist, a loyal friend, a supportive partner, and a sympathetic daughter. And just as 16-year-old me ritualistically did in preparation for each of my secondary school exams (IGCSEs), I danced in my bedroom to calm my nerves on the night before my oral examination.
Guess I really haven't changed all that much. Listen to 'Still Me', here: https://www.herroyalscience.com/podcast
Peace and blessings,