Well, it’s alive! My first website is alive! I have been cooking this idea for a few months now. Previously, I had separate pages where I used to post my things, but now it’s time to converge everything to just one space. It’s my personal interstellar space. And this moment is even more crucial for me, because it’s time to start a fresh new chapter in my life. If you know me, you are probably aware that I have been an exchange student for the last year, and my time to go back home is almost here. There, I will continue my studies and start new projects. Let me talk about these things.
Last week, I presented my research talk at Kapteyn Astronomical Institute and called the curtain. It’s done. I expected to be happy and relieved when I’d be finished with my studies at the University of Groningen, but instead, after my talk, I actually felt a bit sad and empty. It was over. At this moment, I’m extremely anxious to go back to Brazil, see my family, friends and my beloved pets, ride my bike, play my PS3, code on my desktop. But at the same time, I feel saddened by the thought of leaving the Netherlands.
My life has changed after I came to Groningen. I learned how to have healthier habits, how to control my expenditures, how to work in academia, how to operate a large telescope, many new tricks in Python, improved my spoken English (now my accent is a terrible mess of South + North American + European accents), discovered a new hobby (photography), saw snow and northern lights for the first time, among many other things that I can’t number at the moment. However, my day still had only 24 hours, so there wasn’t much advance in the website, my blog posts and my side-projects. And it pains me to see these projects at this kind of abandoned state.
I don’t know exactly how things will go in the future. The project I have in mind at this moment is the one my Brazilian supervisor proposed, which is related to computational astrophysics. And I am absolutely stoked for it. I love programming, and I believe that mixing it with the study of the universe might be my “true calling”. So, that’s why I will start studying Fortran (or maybe C) in the coming weeks.
If all this comes to fruition, I will have three big projects in my hands (my previous research, the new one, and the website). Along with them, I will also need to dedicate time to studies (because, you know, graduation shenanigans). Additionally, I have other hobbies to address: videogames, photography and running. The problem is, again, that the day has only 24 hours. Will I be able to keep up with everything?
Anyway, this wonderful chapter of intense discovery and exploration that I’ve been writing here in the Netherlands is about to be finished. I will forever be grateful for the hospitality of the University of Groningen and the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute. The Dutch people are very different from Brazilians, but even so, I really think we share many common traits. Except for the rare moments when the language barrier was evident, there was never a day I felt like I didn’t belong in here. For 365 days, Groningen was my home, and I have absolutely no regrets. Thanks to everyone that made this exchange period possible.