PGSA Newsletter Editorial: November
Being a postgrad is hard. For one, people don’t really understand what we do. I can’t count how many pairs of novelty whale and lobster socks I have because people know I do marine biology, despite those things having as much relevance to what I actually study as a cheesecake. (Actually, I lied. I can count them – it’s four. Actually, I lied again – cheesecake has much more relevance to me, as a binge food I decide I deserve at the end of the week, despite doing much less work than I actually planned).
But it’s okay if people don’t know what we do, because often they don’t really know what they do either. They are like jellyfish – they sort of go through life, driven by the currents with their tentacles dangling. If opportunity lands in their lackadaisical grasp they can eat it up, but otherwise they drift, letting life happen to them rather than the other way round. On the other hand, we postgrads are like turtles. Enigmatic and interesting, if sometimes shy and often hard to find. Turtles do things – they swim around and make the world a better place. Plus, turtles eat jellyfish. (I’m not really sure how this fits into my analogy. I think that I’ll stick with it anyway).
Turtles can sometimes get into trouble. The sea can be a nasty place – full of old fishing nets, bits of plastic and other assorted detritus to get tangled up in. Sometimes you can get stuck, and flap weakly while staring out at the abysmal emptiness of the ocean. It can seem like only jellyfish float past, and they don’t get it. But never forget that here at Victoria, you are surrounded by turtles. By people who may not get the nuances of what you do, but have the same experiences as you. By people who know that your work is not some abstract conception of a subject, but something that has relevance, something that will make the world a better place.
The PGSA is like a productive seagrass meadow – we look out for turtles. We let you meet other turtles, help you out if you are stuck with anything at all and even feed you (lots of our events feature free pizza…). Our door is always open, because we turtles have to stick together.
Best of luck for the remainder of this year, and (if you got this far) thanks for reading undoubtedly the most surreal PGSA newsletter editorial ever.