Y’all, it’s lit. Kristie and I are headed to a Congolese wedding in Milan at the end of September and I couldn’t be more excited!
A few people have asked me “what’s the difference between labs in Europe and in the U.S.”
Before I moved here, I heard that Europeans are very chill and laid back (compared to Americans); they take their vacations seriously and work-life balance is rooted in the foundation of society.
I was SO stressed about asking my PI if I could take Friday off and come late to lab on Monday for a once in a lifetime opportunity. I mean, how many times will I be invited to a wedding in freaking Milan!?!?!?! And actually be able to go!?!?! I couldn’t even blink once before he said “Yes!!!! Go to Milan!”
Don’t get me wrong, *MY* PIs in the U.S. have always supported and encouraged a great work-life balance, but I don’t feel that’s the status quo in STEM fields. People tend to glorify working long hours or sleepless nights in the lab. I don’t think that’s necessary for success, in fact, I’d argue that it hinders it.
People (scientists) here take 2-3 week vacations, work normal hours, do great work, and publish in high impact journals (i.e. Nature, Science, etc.).
I agonized for hours and asked multiple people for advice before I finally asked for time “off”, which really isn’t time off since I plan to work some weekends. I just thought it was funny when he responded like… “duh…go.”
I should take a chill pill; work hard, play hard 🙂