Depiction of a Ferris wheelPostgraduate studies at times feel like a Ferris wheel. One moment you you’re on top of the world, and at the bottom again the next. It really is a pure torture at times but a blast of fresh air in some very rare moments. But we survive…and get to tell our stories. It’s the most fascinating thing ever. How do we make it through? Well, I think you can ask any postgraduate student and find a different survival strategy. So this month I just want to let you in on my secret…I hope it won’t be too much!

From a very young age I have been a big fan of English literature. I felt like books were a friend and do what no other friend could: allow me to delve deep into my imagination and get lost in there. They could provide a certain level of comfort in that silence. So, when everything got too much at my level now, I decided to go back to that level of comfort and tranquility. I decided to read.

In the past seven months (the months that really got hectic for me), I have read five books and I’m busy with the sixth one now. I spoke to a friend about it and he told me how ridiculous the idea was. I mean, it really does sound absurd. Come to think of it, I have to go through mountains of scientific literature every day to try and make sense of my research and hopefully contribute to science innovation. At the end of the day, with failed experiments and scientific data that isn’t making sense, no sane person wants to open a book and try to decipher new messages for fun! Or maybe some of us do. Here is a list of what I have been reading:

Magna Carta of Exponentiality by Vusi Thembekwayo Some of the book titles that I have been busy reading

America the Beautiful by Ben Carson

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Gifted Hands by Ben Carson

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

If you look at those books and what message they contain (for those who may have read the books of course), it’s like learning a third language, or getting lost in a wilderness. They teach an extra skill that is not contained in science research. From Ben’s discovering and living up to your full potential to Robert and Vusi’s financial literacy, the reads have definitely been worth it. Reading for no better reason than to read makes my mind whirl and lets me see the world in a wholly different way. And it doesn’t hurt to see what good writing looks like, outside a scientific article.

Postgraduate studies are a journey. In every journey there are lessons to be learned before reaching one’s destination. For me it’s not just been valuable lessons from colleagues and friends, but the wilderness that I love in the pieces of writing that I think were meant for my peace of mind!

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