Hey everyone! This week we decided to talk about the importance of having friends in your field. Anyone who knows me, knows that I always run a few circles and am relatively social so when I got to OSU that was no different. Here's the thing about chemistry, there aren't really A LOT of black people and I wish I could say that I had this large group of amazing black women that I'm with 24/7, but I don't. I do have a few though!
The group of humans I am going to blog about are the lovely people I came into grad school with and then the group of women that I absolutely adore from my lab (seen in the picture above). These groups of people have honestly been my saving grace and here are a few reasons why:
1. They understand my struggles.
This is important. It's not that I don't love my Day 1's (they know who they are), but the people that I'm with everyday in grad school understand my daily life 100%. I can tell them things and they just get it, no questions or explanations needed. They are fully aware of how taxing grad life can be and the advice they give me is typically from personal experience and that's helpful. It's nothing like venting to someone that feels your pain.
2. I have direct access to them.
I'm the type of person that thrives on proximity in all of my relationships. Meaning I love being able to just be around people. That's what I get with them. I can just turn around and see my friends in the office or I can go visit them in other buildings, regardless they aren't far away, which helps. The access I have to them is really good for making plans or bouncing ideas off or just those moments I get bored and want someone to talk to (my labmates are my normal victims for those moments).
3. We have a relationship outside of chemistry.
This is by far one of best things that I have with my friends in the program. We can talk about chemistry and life all in the same breath. Outside of them being a great network for my life as a chemist, but they also are good for my life in general. I can go to them for all kinds of advice which is amazing. You need people that can do both. Now I do have people that are good for my development as a scientist, but I love having friends that are good for both my professional and personal development. It helps me feel like I'm not just a chemist and that is very important to maintaining my mental health.
Why do you love your STEM friends? Tweet me some responses.
See you next week.