In celebration of academic friendships

This morning I was reached by the best news – my very good friend Isabella just had a daughter! I’m thrilled and so happy I can barely keep myself from jumping on a plane and fly across Sweden to see her.

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Me and Isabella in Malaga 2002

So this blog post is a celebration of our friendship – which is of a special, beautiful kind. We’re not “just” friends, we’ve also grown up as academics together. Isabella and I first met while studying software engineering in Uppsala in 1997 and we became good friends from the start. We collaborated on assignments and thesis projects and Isabella’s never ending energy and motivation complemented my reflective and analytic nature – we were a perfect team.

After our studies we both stayed an worked in different research projects at the university, and managed to prepare an application for research funding together that was granted (we didn’t realize then how lucky we were!) and enabled us to fund our PhD studies, and we worked in parallel on our respective PhD thesis projects. Going through this together has created a special bond. We’ve been through it together, both the fun stuff and the hard parts. We’ve travelled the world, to countless conferences and meetings. We’ve both met our husbands, fallen in love, been to each others weddings and birthday parties and when I had my daughter 9 years ago, Isabella was the first person to visit us at the hospital.

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Isabella meets my daugther Ester for the first time 2006


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At Isabella’s dissertation party 2008


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Isabella & Dennis wedding (my daughter holding the &) 2009

 

Being in the same field of research means we still collaborate on research projects and applications, but we also compete from time to time, and admittedly I sometimes compare myself to her successes and feel just a little jealous… but it’s always overcome by a huge happiness and pride – that’s MY Isabella! And I think we will always have a special friendship. We no longer see each other on a daily basis since we live so far apart – but we meet at conferences around the world and visit each other as often as we can. So, in this post I want to celebrate our friendship and the arrival of Isabella’s daughter! All my best wishes to the whole family.

I also want to recommend to all of you out there going through your PhD studies. Cherish the friendships that are created during this very special, wonderful and demanding – even challenging – time in your lives. The people you are surrounded by now may not just be your future colleagues and collaborators – they’re likely friends for life!

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Hunting world heritage sites 2015 (I’ll tell you more about that some other time…)

[post 6 in the #blogg100 challenge]

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2 Responses to In celebration of academic friendships

  1. Pingback: PhD Parenting | Participatory eHealth

  2. Pingback: PhD parenting | Participatory eHealth

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