In Transit

Since the beginning of June, all my worldly possessions have been packed into Tesco home delivery boxes to move from Bath back home. Since I’m not planning on being in Devon for long, I haven’t unpacked much stuff, and somehow I’m starting to feel like my mind is all packed up in boxes too. It’s been hard to feel settled anywhere when I know I’ll be leaving, and combined with home being very busy at the moment; I haven’t been as comfortable as I wanted to be.

Graduation is supposed to be some kind of big success, and I had envisaged it as a climax to my year in England. It didn’t arrive in such a grandiose way, and I’ve been left feeling a little deflated. Perhaps this is because nothing was riding on my results; I have a job and a location sorted already, my destiny was sealed. It could be due to my huge personal desire for a 1st. Although many people have told me that a 2.1 is great, which I suppose it is, I really wanted a first. Not for career reasons, but simply to prove to myself that I was worth the energy I spend on studying. As it stands, I got a prize for my dissertation; I knew I was happy with it so I’m glad it was recognized as worthy. It somewhat reassures me that my practical science is good enough, since I’m about to start work as a scientist.

I’ve been thinking about my reasons for returning to Boulder, and there are quite a few. I’m not sure I can exactly order them in terms of importance as they are all intertwined. I met some genuine friends in Colorado last year who helped me make the most of my time, and without them the prospect of returning would not be so great. Those are the same friends that I’m looking forward to riding my bike with when I get back, and going on a few roadtrips in the mountains. Although Boulders’ trails aren’t the best in Colorado, they are much better than in Bath and the climate is more agreeable too, thus long rides with friends in the mountains, whether it be 27 F or C, are being anticipated.

Work is a large part of it too. A lot of people I know have discounted that from my reasons, but my interest for Neuroscience has underpinned all layers of adventure in my life. Research science is a constantly evolving process, which relies on continuous discovery to move forward. I would like my life to lead a similar path; I never want to stop learning, either academically or in general. I want to ride new singletrack, climb new mountains, meet interesting people, drink a cool beer that no-one has heard of, be the first to hit a huge line of powder on a bluebird day. I want to lie on a rock and bathe in the sun looking at a vista that I’ve never seen before.

I count myself pretty lucky to have graduated with a job and somewhere to go. I know a lot of intelligent people who aren’t so fortunate.  A quote of unknown origin states “The harder I train, The luckier I get” thus I feel to a certain extent that I have made my luck. Steve Prefontaine said “to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift” so I endeavour to make the most of the opportunities which have opened up in front of me.  My task for next year, alongside work and play, will be to finally determine where I want to do a PhD. Having offers in both the UK and US makes it a bit easier, but I’m still drawn to the continent and would love to spend time living and working in the Alps again.

I have a feeling that arriving in Boulder will not cure my ‘In Transit’ feeling. I don’t know where or what I’m looking for, but I know that finally unpacking my mind and living for a bit will feel good.