Then the #science#reality and #depression hit me! It was the most unimaginable experience! It’s easy to brush off when other people say what depression entails, but the #experience was very profound and physically devastating! I noticed the smallest things around me differently!
Walking out these doors @UMassIALS@UMassChemEng@UMassAmherst is a weirdly feeling! I left home 13 years ago for the pursuit of happiness. Over the years, I have seen that some people move out of academia neutral 😐, some bitter 😕, and some happy 😀..... contd. @AcademicChatter
However, almost all the time you have to leave for bigger and better things in life.
One thing I’m absolutely sure about is that almost all people move out with a sense of ‘pride’. #phdlife
Pride of witnessing a phenomenon that noone ever had before!
Pride of seeing things develop that sounded utterly crazy as a child!
Pride of developing things that will be enabling for eternity!
Pride of being among that elite group of people on earth 🌎! #pridephd
Positive #transformations are always great to see as an end product. The journey to a transformation however is almost always hidden. On the first day of #phd#gradschool in @umasschemengg, I introduced myself by saying....contd.
....I came to the US for the ‘#science’ and ‘#fitness’ industry that is known to be the best in the world. Everyone got a good laugh 😂 out of it. However, I wasn’t kidding at all 😈! I always had this vision of a scientist 👨🏾🔬who is also ripped to the core physically 💪🏾.
In that pursuit, I reached my best physique towards the end of year 2 of my #PhD when I also got #married 👩🏻🤝👨🏽 to @priyankaitkar9. I was still not quite there with the #science. Today, 4 years later, I am successfully @PhDone2020 and getting close to the best shape of my life!
To all the new #graduate students starting their #PhD or the ones already in it. It's true that the #journey of a PhD is like #life packed into a few years. You must also understand that it is not your entire life either! Life goes on despite how this journey goes or ends! Thread
Year 3, 4, and 5, I went through multiple cycles of #depression. I cannot put a finger on anything specific of why that happened. What I realized though, is that every time I came out of that cycle, I found enormous amounts of hidden #energy and #strength.
In layman terms OPT from #USCIS is required for all #internationalstudents in Masters' and PhD programs to legally work in the US after completing the degree. My application got approved last week amidst the possibility that new OPT approvals might be cancelled for the year. sigh
I had to a) give up a dream #postdoc@UTAustin and apologize for it. b) Survive 4 months without financial support waiting 2.5 months. c) Run a household of 2 (wife, a software engineer unable to work in US due to visa restrictions) and finish requirements for my #PhD.
I am looking into ways to have my name on the diploma to be 'Abhinav Priyanka Sharma'. My wife @priyankaitkar9 has contributed equally towards this degree emotionally. Without her love & support it would be incredibly hard to find the courage to keep going when I hit rock bottom.
My parents never went to college but made sure I had the best education possible. Even if that meant keeping me in the city away from them since the age of 5. They have invested their entire life emotionally and financially to my education. Hope I can give back as much as I can.