Hello! I’m Marianela, your new Hive Scholar

intro-post-pictureHi, so I’m one of the three new Hive Scholars and am here to help you with anything so may need in relation to your PhD and studying.

First of all, I thought I’d share who I am and what I do. I’m doing a PhD in Migration Studies, which is mainly about experiences of citizenship acquisition and their impact on migrants’ identity narratives.

Besides being a Hive Scholar and a PhD student, I am also the mother of a two-year old boy and a translator. So what does that mean? It means that while I play with my son, we hear podcasts on migration studies in the background; that I fit my work as a translator somewhere between my evenings and the weekends, and all my mornings are devoted to my PhD and the Research Hive.

So ‘the Hive’ has become my temple: I go there, sit and the world of my passion unfolds before me: citizenship studies and migrants. I have three (maybe four) hours, then I have to run to the nursery to pick up my son, play, shop, tidy-up, check emails, write and pay bills, (maybe) cook and play some more.  Finally, when the day is about to be over, I have to translate a bit. Sounds pretty neoliberal huh? Work, work, work.

And yes, I do end up asking myself often enough why I should embark on this delusional project? And the answer is always easy: Because I love it! It’s rewarding, I see myself being strong and resilient, passionate and determined, and that is success for me. Basically, because I like to think of learning as an experience, where we can be ourselves and bring our personal experiences along in order to influence our learning.

That is why the Hive is so important for me, because it is potentially that place. I say potentially, because we have to make it that way, and that is why we are trying to make of it a community, a place where learning will be an experience! I became a Hive scholar because I want to share that experience with people like me, who are struggling with daily challenges but who believe in what they do.

Did you know that on campus there is a great family room with tons of toys and books for kids? Did you know that whatever collective you belong to, there is probably a student rep that can help you personally? Did you know that most of PhD students contact the Student Life Centre due to supervision questions?

We are not alone and we should share our experiences with each other, because we have heard a million times that a PhD can be isolating, but we can do something about it.

Academic life may be wild, but with our determination and daily struggles, if we get together every once in a while and chat about it, we can domesticate it!

If you want to join our community, talk to me. I’ll be at the Hive (top floor of the library, you can’t miss it) every Monday 9:30 to 11:30 and you can email me at researchhive@sussex.ac.uk or mb642@sussex.ac.uk

Hope to hear from you!


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