Tag Archives: dream

Milestones

Today I graduated, with honors. I have a Bachelor’s degree now. It should feel like I’ve accomplished something, like I’ve reached some sort of significant demarcation mark. I thought that when I have the actual diploma in my hands, I’d feel something, and yet I don’t think I do. It feels like I only finished Junior High, which in a sense, it is. I mean, the only bigger bit of excitement I felt today was when I filled out my preference list in my grad school application – I’ve not stopped to take a longer break, because really, there isn’t much occasion for that, in my mind. I don’t want to really stop until I reach what I’m aiming at.

A friend told me that this strange feeling of no accomplishment is probably due to me setting my goals too high. I guess, she’s right. I’ve never really considered Bachelor’s degree a goal. I mean, sure, I need it, but only because it’s on the way to becoming a scientist. However, it does feel good to be reassured that I’m on the right track, that, step by step, I can do this science thing.

I find it a bit strange when graduating people talk about how they’re unsure of what to do next or how they don’t know what job they should do, and I feel no doubt. For as long as I remember, I’ve always wanted to be a scientist. Sure, there were a lot of other things, too, but science was one thing that never changed since I was in fifth grade and I wanted to be an archaeologist (and travel to Australia to prove once and for all why dinosaurs really disappeared – and I understand now that the correct term for that would be palaeontologist, but, hey, I was just a fifth-grader then). After that, my subject of choice would change from time to time, until, as I was graduating High School, it had settled on something new-technologies-in-biomedical-research-related, which coincidentally is what I’m working on already. It feels a little … bizarre. I mean, I’m actually doing what I’ve been dreaming of doing for such a long time. That does feel like an accomplishment.

Thinking that there actually was a reason to celebrate today,

Noodle.

P.S. Now, I remember that after the first year, I was seriously considering quitting and starting over with some other subject of studies. Man, am I glad I didn’t!

Dreams, Goals and Quantum Physics

Funny things those dreams. They say a dream without a goal isn’t worth anything, but I think I may have to disagree – to a certain extent at least. I’ve loved dreaming since ever I can remember. And most of the time, those dreams are just dreams. Dreams of impossible things, stories happening to other people. Or are they really impossible? And what does Quantum Physics have to do with this?

There was once this brilliant mathematician named Hugh Everett. He chose to try and work out some of the most puzzling things in Quantum Mechanics. He wanted to figure out the problem of measuring the state of a quantum particle which, until measured is in superposition of two states, but when a scientist decides to measure it, he always gets one of the positions. The most well-known example is Schroedinger’s cat: if we have a cat in a box, we don’t know whether it’s alive or dead until we open the box, and Schroedinger proposed that until we do so, the cat is BOTH alive and dead, but once the box is opened we can only see a dead cat OR a living cat. Everett proposed that at the point when we measure the state of a particle (or open the box with the cat) is where the universe (or rather its wave function, but never mind that) splits and we get two universes existing parallel. Similarly, whenever we have to pick one from a few options, every choice makes a parallel universe. What we get is an infinite number of worlds. And if there is an infinite number of them, then everything must happen at least once. So when you dream or think of something, somewhere sometime in the multiverse it exists. And how cool is that? Say, I dream that I am a witch and I just got my letter from Hogwarts, then somewhere sometime a version of me is probably getting her letter and setting off from Platform 9 and ¾ (why yes, I’m geeky – and proud).

However, while I find “tapping” into parallel worlds cool on its own, it probably doesn’t have any substantial benefit. But there is one other thing which I realised just a couple of days ago and which, to me, validates all the time I’ve spent dreaming. I was thinking about what I dreamed of when I was a kid. First of all, when I was a kid I dreamed that I would never have to grow up, which I guess just shows that I had a very nice childhood (thank you, Mum and Dad!). When I was about 12, I really liked history and I started dreaming of how cool it would be to become a scientist and find out why dinosaurs became extinct. Later on, my interest in dinosaurs faded, and I went through a phase of dreaming of becoming a designer. However, three days in an art school were enough to convince me that I didn’t really want to be an artist. All the while, however, I continued to enjoy studying science and, while my favourite subject changed, the dream of becoming a scientist remained. When the time came to decide what I want to study at university, without thinking too much, I knew that I wanted to be a scientist (no other possibilities worth considering even occurred to me) and I naturally went for the subjects I enjoyed at school the most. And the thing I realised the other day is that, hey, I AM studying biophysics (which combines all of my favourite subjects) to become a scientist! I’m even already doing research and stuff. How cool is that? The dream that I’ve had since I was 12 years old is actually coming true!

So, my point is that as long as you have some will and are ready to work a bit for something, you never know when one of your dreams will become a goal and with some effort even come true.

Still dreaming on, I am

Noodle.