The Looming Light at the End of the Tunnel

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Just stay positive. Just. Stay. Positive.

That’s what I keep telling myself lately. As someone who is working on the last parts of a Master of Science degree, I’m sure its normal for someone like me to be a little anxious. Working in the field of academic research has been more than eye-opening, and I’m seven years into my education. Its frustrating when I have spent seven years in University, and may end up returning to the job I had before I graduated. I have applied for several Counselling Psychology programs, but so far I have only been rejected. There are a couple more who I am still waiting to hear back from, but if they fall through I literally have nothing to go on.

So I’ve been looking at different options and preparing myself for what will happen if I end up being thrown onto the curb after being given a piece of paper with “MSc Neuroscience” on it. The truth of the matter is that most people probably don’t care how much I know about the brain. I have been taking mental inventory of all the things that I am good at, and how I can better utilize those talents. The funny thing is that all of my most valuable talents have more to do with my interest in internet media than they do with neuroscience.

Despite all of the nervousness surrounding the unknown, I am choosing to see it as a win/win. If I am accepted to a Counselling Psychology program, I will be able to move forward with the hopes of becoming a great therapist. If I’m not accepted, I will be faced with an amazing opportunity to explore other options and be creative.  I have been considering the potential of developing a personal brand online, doing some writing, working on some personal projects of mine, and simply getting this blog onto a more consistent schedule. I seem to have an incredible knack for explaining super scientific things in a way that most people can’t, so maybe there is some potential for “Edutainment.” I hate that word, but its definitely something I need to think about more.

I have a favour to ask of you, dear reader. Leave a comment below giving me suggestions on where you think I should focus my online efforts. Do you want to see more YouTube videos? Want me to post something about a certain science topic? Want me to do a photo essay on the reliability of certain behavioural testing? Let me know below!

2 thoughts on “The Looming Light at the End of the Tunnel

  1. Alexis Santos Reply

    Zac, I’d like to see a list of 13 weird things I didn’t know about the brain. I also request that it be paired with a slideshow. And, uh, something else that pokes fun at Buzzfeed.

    In all seriousness though, I know the feeling. Throughout my last year of college I lined up as many opportunities as I could to make sure I had something to move onto. Graduate school was certainly on my mind, but I wanted to stretch my legs a little before embarking on another multi-year academic journey. I applied to a number of programs, which included everything from doing independent research to teaching English in Japan. I didn’t get a single one. Alas, my plan was to work on my own projects for a year, see what happens and apply to grad school.

    Roughly two days before graduating, I had my first shift at Engadget. I spent 99% of the school year preoccupied with what I’d do right after graduation, only to have a one-of-a-kind experience present itself with days left. Now, I’m not saying that “the path will be made clear to you” right before graduation, but I am saying that these kind of opportunities often come when you least expect them, and many times aren’t what you’d imagined.

    In order for such things to arise, however, you do have to stay positive. More than that, you must have faith that they’ll come in some shape or form at some point in time. Also: don’t freak out, stay calm. And most importantly, make your luck — work hard and do things that may lead to good opportunities.

    At any rate, I’m rambling and you’re already on the right track with seeing it as a win/win scenario. I say do the podcast (put episodes up on YouTube as well!) and pump up your brand. Methinks that will lead to good things.

    • Zac Erickson Reply

      Thanks for your wisdom, Alexis. 🙂 Its beginning to look like I’m not going to make it into the programs I applied for, so I am both excited and terrified at what that means. I have the next few months to finish my thesis and decide what I want to do next, although I’m pretty sure that I’ll find something awesome and worthwhile. In the mean time, one thing I know I will need to do is develop my personal brand, so you can bet that I’ll be doing this stuff more and more. 🙂 Thanks for sage advice.

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