With 2020 nearing its end (kind of).. do you feel that you’ve accomplished what you wanted to accomplish this year?

Thank you for this Ask! (Also, my Ask queue is empty right now, so feel free to ask me stuff ^^)

A couple of years ago, I told myself that I wanted to finish my PhD before I was 30 years old (when I started it, I was 24 years old, so that was entirely reasonable). Albeit with a little bit delay, I was able to complete my doctoral thesis and defend it and attain my doctor (PhD, not medical) title in 2020. Seeing that I’m still 29 at the moment of writing this, it seems that I was successful ^^.

In this year, I also wanted to get an answer from myself what I’d be doing with my future. A PhD is not per se a university education, but in a way it is. Therefore, at some point you will want to know what’s next. I was unfortunately not able to get a clear answer from myself what I’d like to do the next decade or so. Instead, I essentially postponed the decision by applying for a postdoc position, and somehow managing to get a postdoc job offer. To be clear, the options which one has after a PhD are quite broad; from continuing in academia (via a postdoc), to joining a pharmaceutical company as a researcher or program manager/director, all the way to working as a (medical) writer or even starting up your own company. Of course, one can choose to completely exit the whole field and do a random job xD. Though,  if you choose not to use the acquired skillset, you may feel guilty for having used up so much public research funding, which was essentially spent on you to train you to become a scientist. 

I told myself that after finishing my PhD, I’d like to move back to where I was born, or at least closer to it, to reconnect with family and friends. This bullet point is a little bit difficult, because I do live closer by, but pandemic fear has increased our distances. I was successful at finding a job closer to where I was born, and I can in fact visit family and friends more often. Though, some of my friends don’t wish to see me, because they are afraid of becoming ill. I won’t further comment on this ^^;;;, let’s see how this will evolve. 

I kinda wanted to get my driver’s license in 2020, but I doubt I’ll do it this year. Maybe next year? Who knows. I can still bike whenever and wherever I want to xD. 

As with any year, I wanted to learn more about photography and I’d like to improve my photography skill. Especially taking timed photos of myself. You can be the judge of that xD. I’ll stop for now, this message is too long and won’t be read.

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