Well, 4.5 months in and I feel unaccomplished and overwhelmed. I have adjusted to certain aspects of the culture, living apart from my wonderful husband and getting active again.
Research as always is frustrating. I enjoy the lab atmosphere and appreciate all the help/support by labmates/advisors give. I am close to having my first model run and have a list of thousands of mistakes I made along the way. The best part of research is the learning curve, after 6 months on a new topic, everything will suddenly click. To make a new model will now only take a week or two.
Finishing up my research from my other lab is moving along. My third first author paper is submitted and presentation for Japan is already made. My fourth paper is currently being self-edited. Self-editing is one of the toughest processes. Usually, I can only hear my grammar errors if I read the article out loud. Writing is definitely a honed skill that engineers are not taught in undergraduate.
Socially things are very good. I have made some amazing friends from my new lab. Culturally, I need to do better. I signed up for a Dutch class that starts at the end of September. Traveling to all the different countries over the past 4 months has really opened my eyes. Its overwhelming to think that I have been in 9 different countries since April (France, Netherlands, Turkey, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom).
Training for my half marathon is going well. The running has helped to reduce my stress. Having the time to also make it to the gym for cross-training is harder.
I am excited for the next few months as my husband comes to visit and I get to travel to Italy and Japan. Overall, its been a hard road but definitely worth it.