Being a Scientist:Expectations versus the sad, undeniable reality.

1. Before starting my degree… At first I thought I was a Scully type with a science edge.

Expectation:

That lab coat will fit me like a glove and I’ll constantly be taking off my glasses and biting on the edge before some major break-through. I’d wear heels that made a clicking sound as I walked and all the male scientists would look at me in awe and ask questions like ‘Can you review my paper?’ etc.

Reality:

All of the lab coats are huge, beyond huge, four of me could fit into one. People gave me funny looks as I had to frequently roll up the sleeves so they weren’t a fire hazard. The ‘biting on the end of my glasses’? Tried it once, they fell and I spent about 5 minutes patting the ground like a twat looking for them. The male scientists did look at me in awe though mostly because they were so impressed with how I managed to get 90% of my lunch caught in my braces. Sexy. As for being a total Scientific genius? I mispronounced most words incorrectly for the first six months and nobody ever seemed to know what I was talking about.

‘I’m talking about Denturification.’

‘You mean DENITRIFICATION?’

‘Calm down.’

2. I thought I’d be a tad Dr. House by the end of first year. Witty but cynical and people would respect the heck out of me.

Expectation:

They’d all call me by my last name and everyone would know it. I’d be the go-to gal. The chosen one of the bunch. The rest would follow me around trying to buy me coffee and befriend me but I wouldn’t have time for friends what with all the crazy opportunities I’m getting due to my abnormally high IQ.

Reality:

On a class night out I got talking to a guy in my class who asked me what I was studying. I knew his name…we’re Facebook friends. Most of the other white coated shit bags called me ‘Christine’ for…well…pretty much ever. Nobody tried to buy me coffee but one girl did spill fresh, boiling hot coffee all down my new ‘things are gonna change’ shirt. Highlight of the semester. Also I realised just how intellectually challenged I was when I was sitting in on a geology lecture for 45 minutes without realising I was in the wrong theatre.

The list actually goes on and on but I became severely depressed after that last one and by the time my parents had stopped me threatening to stab the neighbour I did not have it in me to go on. – CK

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