Well, this is goodbye!
I’ve had a brilliant six months as the SGSAH blogger, and this week is my last. If you look back through the archives, you will see many bloggers of yore lamenting how quickly the time goes by. It really does, but I’m so happy with the work I’ve done in my time as blogger.
This role is part writer, part editor, and while I’ve very proud of the things I wrote, I’m particularly proud of the pieces I edited during my time. It has been such a joy to speak to different PhD students about their experiences and read their writing. I helped curate a series on working while doing a PhD, with five different perspectives on the subject, including mine. This is a subject close to my heart, because it is the one piece of advice I will always give new or prospective PhD students – so many things will compete for your attention during the PhD, but some sort of part-time work or internship should be a priority if it is feasible for you. Not only is it financially sensible, it gives you some really excellent transferrable skills that the PhD doesn’t always facilitate. I’m glad to have been able to showcase some of the really cool non-research work that is being done by our PhD students. The PhD is so much more than just the thesis, and I hope hearing these other perspectives was helpful for some of you.
I’m feeling quite sentimental about how this whole journey started for me. I had been working on outside blogs as a writer and editor in my spare time for a while before this position opened up. It was a real milestone for me to get this position, because it marked the first time I had ever been paid to be a writer outside of a strictly academic role. Ever since childhood, I’d fancied myself a bit of a writer and now, for the first time, it was my job! This was so symbolic and meaningful for me, and this was something I never forgot during this process, even when things got busy. I’ve loved working for SGSAH too, with so much creative freedom and encouragement. It’s really a great place to work, if you ever get the chance. If you’d like to keep up with my future adventures, I tweet occasionally and keep an Instagram account about my PhD life.
Finally, I’d like to introduce Garry McLaughlin, our new SGSAH blogger! Garry is a writer, artist and PhD researcher at the University of Dundee. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Garry will do with the blog when he starts in April!
Vesna Curlic is a PhD researcher in History at the University of Edinburgh and current SGSAH Blogger. Her thesis project considers the relationship between disease, disability, and the British immigration system in the early twentieth century. More broadly, her research interests include the history of medicine and science, modern immigration law, and public health policy. She splits her time between Edinburgh and her hometown of Toronto, Canada.