Tag Archives: marine biologist

May 18th – the day I became a marine biologist

Guys, I did it. I finally did it. I made 8 year old me proud and happy beyond measure. On May 18th, I successfully defended my thesis and am now a marine biologist.

I have never been so nervous in my life as I was the night before the presentation. I tried to rehearse but that failed miserably. The presentation itself went great, despite me blanking out on several questions my opponent had. That probably nerfed my grade, to be honest. I couldn’t sleep that night, and I even dreamt that I failed it because I couldn’t speak. That probably contributed to the half-assed presentation I did. I’m sure I can pull it off in a better manner today but what is done is done, right?

Yesterday, I spent the day alone. Zoe was at daycare and I couldn’t sit around and do nothing, which resulted in me taking busses around town to play Pokemon Go. Once I got home again, chores awaited and in between those, I experienced a turmoil of feelings. I was happy beyond measure, but I also felt empty and insecure. I know it’s expected. I’ve worked so hard for so long, I barely know what it’s like to fully relax. I honestly cannot remember when last I actually relaxed and didn’t worry about anything. Yesterday was a first. I still feel confused. I didn’t have a plan for life after university because the plan I had up until attending uni was all shot to hell. Why? Because life happens and you can’t ever plan everything.

I’m sure I wouldn’t been able to pull any of this off without the immense support I’ve received from almost everyone I know. You guys have been cheering me on since day 1 and no matter how long I’ve known you, you’ve always come through to pat me on my back, telling me I got this to get me back up on my feet. You’ve truly been the lights in my world and I really couldn’t have done it without you.

Right now, I’m constantly moving between sheer happiness and utter emptiness. Come Monday, and I’ll gotta do some things to get me moving toward a job. In between those tasks, I don’t know what to do. Maybe I’ll read a few books. Maybe I’ll catch up on my never-ending list of documentaries I want to watch. Maybe I’ll just go to the sea side and dream away. Or maybe I’ll catch up on all my series and anime or play all the games I’ve been meaning to play. It’s just weird to have so much time on my hands when I’ve always only been having 2-3h every week. It feels weird to me to start playing a game or watch a show. Those have always been an award to me. If I finish this task, I can watch one episode of X. That has always been my system. Do this and get this. Finish that and buy this. Now I don’t have a real thing to be my number one priority.

I think I’ll just have to go see the ocean. Then I’ll be fine again.

//c_Cae; finally did it. now what? 



The deadline for the PhD application was on April 16, which resulted in me working over Easter desperately trying to finish it. It ended up pretty good, if I may say so myself. The only problem now is out of my hands, and I can only hope that my application stands out enough to call for an interview among the 40 other applicants. Other than being nervous, I also managed to finish my thesis.

I sent it in twice for revision and now the final version is in my hands. I only need to check for some minor errors and find typos. After than I’m ready to write a presentation manuscript and defend it. It’ll be fun, I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time. Knowing that I have so many people that support me is very comforting. I’m not gonna lie, I am nervous but being a little nervous is good. It feels amazing and very unrealistic at the same time. Once my defence is over and I pass, I will have made my childhood dream come true and I’ll finally be a marine biologist.

I remember when I first started this blog and it was all about being a bartender before I realised I need to head back to uni and finish what I started. I also remember the picture shown to me when I was 8 and I decided then and there that I wasn’t going to be an archeologist and head for the deep blue instead. For the longest time as a child, I thought the words marine biologist was just a made up thing. I had just put together two words that made sense to me: marine because of the ocean and biologist because of all the life around us. Countless of times was I met with the question Is that even a thing? Of course it is! Look at me now. I’m very happy, although the thought of not knowing what I’ll do the coming years is frightening.

Most of all, I’m proud of myself. I’ve managed an education with 0 in debt. Zero. Nil. Nada. My degree is the manifestation of hard work in its purest form. Yes, I have put many things aside to achieve this but it is worth it. I’m also very proud of the fact that I managed to do something that I’d never thought I’d be able to pull off. My thesis is strictly theoretical and it’s packed with statistics. I’m still afraid of statistics but I now have a fundamental understanding to it and I know why it’s important. It scared the living being out of me when I took it but I am really glad I did it. It put me through so much agony, pain and frustration but it paid me back in knowledge and resilience. I’m really impressed with myself, not only to the fact that I managed to pull this thesis off, but also because I took the courage and challenged myself and walked out of it alive. So whatever the future has coming my way, I am not afraid.

//c_Cae; challenge accepted and achievement unlocked: marine biologist one month from now! 

My first love

I remember the first time I saw you. I felt this calm while you gently reflected the sunlight and shimmered like blue marble. I was 8 at the time and I have loved you ever since. Almost 22 years later, I occasionally get to visit you and love you a little bit more. Yesterday was such a day.

I was recently assigned as course assistant for an undergraduate course. It’s mainly for 2nd year biology students, I think, and they’re supposed to learn how to use books (also known as keys) to identify different kind of animals. Because the lack of marine bottom fauna, I was sent out to fetch some. Along with one marine biologist professor and two journalists, we set out early morning and I was over the moon. Going at 30knots, the wind was hitting my face with ocean splash, and it felt great. It wasn’t even cold, and I have to admit, I was colder (still am) on land than I was when we were out. The only time when it was annoying was the brief hailing we experienced near the end of the day. Other than that, it was a perfect day at sea. We saw the R/V Sabella. I miss riding that boat. She’s huge (as opposed to our 7 man boat) and even has an underwater camera attached to her hull.

The ocean was so calm and it was the same marble blue as it was the first time I saw it, and I enjoyed every single second of it. As soon as we got back on land, the only thing that kept me from going on at sea, was my lunch. I had to have it at 430pm, but it was worth it. I was so happy to be at sea, I actually forgot about hunger. That’s a first, but it assures me that the ocean is still what I love most and that I am most definitely doing what I love. Soon, I’ll grasp that title of marine biologist. Soon…

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This is the beauty I want to preserve.

It was kind of heartbreaking seeing a lot of ghost nets on the echo location. It’s even more awful to know that there’s a lot of seals that hang out here, and they could get caught in those ghost nets. Gotta save the oceans to save the planet :)

And I stumbled upon this comment to remind me of a lot of things. Mostly, it makes me miss my friend a lot, but it also reminds me to look back to where I came from and not be sad about whatever hardships are thrown my way. There are a few hardships to deal with, mostly at university and it rocks my self-esteem in a bad way. But I’ll keep your words in mind, and wherever you are, I hope you are safe.

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//c_Cae; having all sorts of muscle pain because of yesterday’s sampling, all worth it though!