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Keep Hope Alive

Updated: Feb 20, 2021

Hello there! I'm @tatioldfield, a PhD in Biochemistry and I work with STEM education in SaoPaulo๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท.

My ๐Ÿ˜ of science is on my DNA, wanted to be an astronaut ๐Ÿš€ as a child. I'm a BSc in Chemistry from University of Sao Paulo and my postgraduate days started when I finally moved to my ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง for a MSc in Biotechnology at @uniessex in 2009.

They offer free counselling service for students: it was perfect for me who has always cared about my own mental health history with anxiety in my life. There was a sticker inside my room door at my uni's halls of residence with information on contacting useful mental health services available 24/7 on/off campus.


My PhD journey was very intense: changed my supervisor + project in my 1st year and had to work very hard within a tight schedule in order to succeed. The sense of isolation + selfdoubt + impostor syndrome were always there and I had a fantastic support from my counsellor, friends + family. Plus the challenges of being a mature student and expat at the same time!

I had free mindfulness sessions on campus, which is a powerful tool to help you to get focused in life and have a healthy relationship with your own thoughts and stress management.

Writing up my thesis was very tough: depression hit me hard + a fellow PhD student committed suicide + my supervisor's cancer battle (he's fine now). But I wouldn't have managed to become Dr Tati without meeting peterdavison ๐ŸŽญ at my 1st DoctorWho convention: he asked what I was doing in the ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง and I mentioned about my PhD. "I'm impressed", he said to me and when his words really kicked in my mind, I could finally appreciate my research as whole. As a result, his name ended up on my acknowledgements section!

My phdchat /phdlife advice is to keep doing the things you ๐Ÿ’– because they help you to be productive. I volunteered at scicomm events to promote women in science, went to music ๐ŸŽต๐ŸŽถ gigs, had a student radio show + ๐Ÿš—๐Ÿš„โœˆ๏ธ around ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น during weekends or vacations. Hope that sharing my story can help ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป stigma and raise mental health awareness in grad school.


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