The HDR lunch club has been running for almost a year now. We are very grateful for GUPSA’s support, providing us $5 lunch vouchers each week for each attendee. The Wednesday meetings have provided so much more than we ever imagined.
There were four of us at the start and now we have about 10 regulars, all at different stages of their research. Apart from advice and tips about research and navigating milestones, we discuss finding RA work, teaching experiences, surviving as an international student and just life.
At fifty-eight, I’m the oldest of the group, just entering my third year as a PhD candidate. I mostly work at home but make a point of coming to campus each Wed, because of the lunch. It’s a definite highlight of my week – and I learn all sorts of things. For me it’s the diversity of the group – cultural, age and life experience. It’s so good to be a part of. The collective wisdom of the group is inspiring. It gives me hope.
We meet at Cafe Rossa at 12:00 each week, and manage to find each other. We usually sit at one of the long tables inside. It’s very casual and relaxed. No agenda, just interesting conversation, usually quite a few laughs, but often too, we traverse serious topics.
It’s hard to say what the benefits are of these weekly gatherings, but it’s so good to be sharing this journey with a group where someone will know what you need to know, or knows someone who does.
Do feel free to join us when you can. Be great to hear your story.