Dec 12, 2016 | The mainstream

At the times I was studying at the University of Warsaw, there was no mainstream neuroscience I might have possibly experienced. Plenty of smart people over there, but no first-league players — all because of no environment, no resources, no faith. One of the reasons I left for abroad was that I aimed to do something that matters, that makes a difference. Then, in my first job, I experienced a wide range of emotions, mostly negative ones unfortunately. And, out of all my frustrations, the feeling of doing something niche and unimportant was the most prevalent one. Now, in my current job, it is completely the opposite – I feel like many researchers around me are waiting for my results, and that I am doing something really important. In fact, it is partially due to the objective impact of my research topic, but also, partially due to the fact that I can present in a way that can be memorable. I didn’t even know about the existence of this “X factor” up until now, but recently it got uncovered to my own surprise. Nevertheless, this situation brings a range of new emotions, unexperienced before. Uncertainty, feeling of competition, attacks of anxiety, pressure of time… There are better and worse days, but every time I have that worse day, I stop for a while and think about those times back in Warsaw. And I think to myself, “This is exactly what you wanted: the mainstream. So, go for it.”

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