Featured Day in the Life of: Deena, PhD student in cognitive neuroscience who just submitted her thesis!

Hi, I’m Deena (instagram here), and I’m a PhD candidate from La Trobe University, Melbourne Australia who recently submitted her PhD thesis!! My field of research is cognitive neuroscience, with particular interests in how the brain changes during the healthy aging process and after cerebrovascular events. I conducted human research and collected data for this using healthy young and older adult which I completed ~2 years ago. I spent most my time after that analysing my data and writing up papers/thesis chapters (#desklife). Given that I recently submitted my thesis, my days can vary substantially as I am now doing a lot of different things in one week. However, here’s my average day…


My alarm goes off at 7.00am every morning. Lately I’ve been letting myself sleep in a little more if I don’t have teaching or work commitments on a particular day (this helps with avoiding traffic!). It can take me between 30 – 90 minutes to get to uni depending on the traffic.


Beauty! I spend no more than 30 minutes getting ready for uni/work. I quite enjoy putting on makeup in the morning. There’s something therapeutic about it…


I’ve been making my breakfast at uni to save time in the morning at home. Lately I’ve been obsessing over instant honey oats with almond milk and berries.


I usually eat breakfast at my desk while writing/updating my to-do list. Sometimes I write my to-do lists the evening before. Regardless, to-do lists are a really important aspect of my organisation and productivity.


Coffee! Nothing like a large almond cappuccino from House of Cards Espresso. Even my walk to/from the café is therapeutic.


Given that I’m not working with huge documents on my computer at the moment (i.e., my thesis) I like to sit at the café with my laptop and read/reply to emails, particularly if the sun is out.


I spend the next big chunk of my day working on new manuscripts that are slightly different to the ones I worked on for my PhD.


Lunch time and chats with my colleagues!

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For change of scenery, I sometimes continue reading papers/writing manuscripts at different cafes on campus.


On my way to gym! I’m almost always sitting in horrible traffic at this time of day.


One of my favourite parts of the day- Gym! Health and fitness have always been important to me. Throughout my PhD, gym has kept me clear-headed and is always a perfect way to end my workday, every day.


I don’t usually train for this long, but I saw a friend and we got chatting in between exercises and so my workouts took me longer to complete!


This dinner is later than usual. I really try not to skip dinner even if I get home late. I feel so much better when I have regular meals, no matter what they are.

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Rest and relaxation! I’ve always loved reading. Sometimes I get so busy I go straight to bed or watch some TV, but I really try not to. Currently reading: The tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris


Bed-time! I’ve been trying to get to bed before 11pm, but I finished gym late today and that meant my night was a little busier than usual. Still a good, productive day

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