First interview for the project YoungHumansOfScience where I try to interview people related to this field and understand their stories in order to close the gap between society and science.
Interviewer: Why did you start in science?
”I was always interested in science, more than anything just by elimination. There are mainly four different paths, medicine, legal, economy and engineering and the only ones where you actually create something instead of building within a system are medicine and engineering and I knew I didn’t want to be a doctor. Too much biology”
”I mean, I always knew I wanted something that had maths in it. I was always attracted too math because there is always one answer, there is only one right answer. I liked how no matter where or how you started, you could always get to the same place by using the same axioms you are given at first, without adding anything else.”
In social sciences there is an approach based on induction, you see something happen and then you make an explanation. In math you deduce the right answer and there you go from one truth to another truth.
After starting university I have become way more cynical, before I always thought I was the best. I had some arrogance that came from thinking that I was the best but once I started university I saw that there was nothing to back that arrogance. When I started university I saw that there were people who I couldn’t reach by working hard.
I realized I wasn’t going to do a PhD on my first year of university.
I don’t think I have any advice for people starting on the path of science. All that I have learned I have learned by doing, oh maybe, try to make as many mistakes as you can while you still can. It was back in my first year of university it was the second exam. I went to the lectures but I didn’t do any of the exercises they sent and I started working a with little time, I started y going through the theory but as I didn’t know that I wasn’t understanding it and as I went through the exercises I saw that couldn’t make it and the day before, I gave up.
When I faced the exam I started seeing the questions as if they were mountains and I started comparing with the others and I saw them as if they were gods or titans. They were tackling these mountains as if they were nothing and I had no idea what to do. From then on whenever I didn’t prepare enough and I had a question I didn’t know how to answer I started seeing it as a mountain and I still see the others as gods as they answer them. Even nowadays I think of the subject as a mountain and of the ones who are good at that subject as if they were gods.
I saw that there were people who had a level that had more talent than me and I knew that I wasn’t going to follow a path in science. In industry you don’t need this talent, but for a PhD there is too much competition, too much pressure.
Interviewer: But then you can just work harder, and I am sure that with enough effort you can reach their level or maybe surpass it. Is it because
”I think you aren’t thinking of it in the same way. It’s not only about the amount of time or whether it is worth it or not. You only see it from your point of view, but they are also working and if they spend the same time or even less they will be able to reach places I would never be able to. ”
Now I recovered a little bit of that arrogance but now I know that it is not empty, it is backed by all the work and now I have more confidence. I still think there is no job you can’t accomplish if you work hard enough but now I know there are people I can’t reach. Now I know way better what it is that I can do and what it is that I can’t do and I spend almost all my time studying and in my free time I do exercise or play Go.
If you liked this post and would like to be updated whenever a new post comes out, please subscribe to our newsletter.
If any of you would like to share
To read more interviews follow this link.