“As a PhD candidate, I have the scope to pursue my own curiosity, which means that I may sometimes spend a few days just reading books. That’s just how it is sometimes! I’m part of a larger project, but I do have the freedom to put my own spin on my PhD thesis, which is about the impact of historical natural disasters. The relevance of our work was acknowledged last year when people needed to know more about the coronavirus crisis that had just broken out. As a historian, I was able to point out the differences and similarities with past instances. This type of comparison can really help to clarify a complicated situation.
Doing a PhD may sometimes seem like a lonely existence, but I was immediately welcomed into the fold at Radboud University. Everyone cares about everyone else and the general atmosphere in my department is pretty relaxed. Maybe that’s just the Radboud vibe. We were there for each other during the pandemic, and even sang Happy Birthday to one another even if it was through a closed door. My closest colleagues have now become my friends.”