Sunshine Blogger Award

I’m so honored to have been nominated by Teresa, Phd to Success, for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Teresa is pursuing a PhD in chemistry and posts incredible content on science and her mental health journey.

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given from bloggers to fellow bloggers for writing inspiring, creative, and interesting content. To be honest, I have constant doubts about whether what I write about is really all of that; but, I am embracing the nomination to the fullest!

Sunshine Blogger Award rules:

  1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in their post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions that the blogger(s) asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write 11 new questions for them to answer.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Teresa went rogue and didn’t ask me 11 questions (which is amazing, don’t get me wrong), so I will be using the questions from the blogger that she received the nomination from: Illuminated Brain!

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE TITLE OF YOUR BLOG?

Sujanee is actually just a shortened Korean pronunciation of my English name, Susanna. I grew up with my family members calling me “sujan” or “sujanee.” I do have a Korean name which is legally my middle name!

WHY DID YOU START BLOGGING?

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I really needed a creative outlet while doing my PhD. During my first year of my PhD program, I found myself feeling isolated, lonely, more depressed and anxious. I had moved to a new location with no social support in place. Finding a community is really hard and so I decided to start writing about my PhD experience. This bloomed into a beautiful network of connecting with other academics on Instagram, and finding comfort in reading the experiences of others. It’s a great feeling to know that you’re not alone.

HOW DID YOU GET INTERESTED IN PUBLIC HEALTH?

I’ve always been interested in health. The majority of my life was spent on the assumption that I would be a physician. I loved the idea and mission behind medicine. However, during my third year of undergrad, I intentionally closed the door to medical school. I realized that I needed a different approach to health. I loved health but I knew I wouldn’t be happy working every day in a hospital. Closing the door to medical school opened up 50 other paths. I went from having a very defined path to having multiple options in front of me!

I decided to obtain a MA in International Development with a Certificate in Global Health. These two years proved to be incredibly valuable as it shaped a lot of what I wanted to do: teach, research, make a difference. This then led me to doing a PhD in public health. My discipline is in global health. I don’t regret anything.

WHAT DO YOU FIND THE MOST REWARDING AND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT BLOGGING?

Rewarding: Writing something that people can connect with, engage in conversation with, and respond to. There are a lot of things that I struggle with on the daily and it feels good to be able to share it and find community. It’s also incredible to share educational posts on various public health related topics and see my readers engage in discussion about them!

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Challenging: Presenting content in a way that makes sense and relatable. I sometimesforget that a lot of the conversations that I have on the daily is not identical to the conversations that other people have. Being able to communicate my thoughts and knowledge in a way that reaches the masses is challenging, but good practice!

WHERE DO YOU HOPE YOUR BLOG WILL BE IN A YEAR’S TIME?

Honestly, I want it to remain just as honest and educational! I really put a lot of time and thought into the material that I put on my blog and on Instagram. In terms of PhD life posts, I hope that my blog can serve as a way for academics to find comfort. For my educational posts, I hope that it continues to educate a wide range of people on global health topics. I strongly believe that a core responsibility of a researcher is to disseminate information effectively. I want my blog to be a platform to do that on a larger scale.

IF YOU COULD VISIT ANY PLACE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

I have SO MANY PLACES I want to go to!! At the top of my head, I will say Antarctica because not many people go there and it has a a rich ecosystem of its own that I’ve never witnessed before.

WOULD YOU RATHER GO BACK IN TIME OR TO THE FUTURE? WHY?

I would go back in time because I’m terrible at history and it would be nice to just be able to witness some things and burn it into my memory.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME?

Ugh, this is a difficult question! I have a lot but my most recent favorite book is When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. I cried my eyes out.

DO YOU PREFER TWITTER OR INSTAGRAM?Instagram-vs-Twitter-Followers

Instagram! I never got into Twitter and don’t really know how to use it. If someone can teach me how to get connected with other people on it, I’ll consider it.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING THING TO COME OUT OF YOUR BLOGGING EXPERIENCE SO FAR?

The community!! I have “met” so many academics through blogging!! Many of them are in STEM, which is amazing because I love learning anything STEM related. I haven’t found many who are in public health so I hope that I continue to connect more with more public health folks!

I also became part of the PhDepression team. This is a space for academics to find mental health support. I also shared my story in the earlier stages of this page and witnessed its incredible growth. Definitely check it out 🙂

HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED TO KEEP BLOGGING?

imagesIt’s a stress reliever. Sometimes when I feel like there’s no other space that I can just word-vomit, I remember that my blog exists. In a lot of ways, it’s a healing process for me to be able to share my experiences. People’s responses have been overwhelmingly supportive and far from what I imagined this would turn out to be! I also find immense joy in sharing educational information on public health and feeding my brain.


My nominations:

All these bloggers/vloggers have great personality and touch on topics ranging from psychology, health, fitness, and PhD life!

Questions:

  1. What makes you happy?
  2. What is the meaning behind the title of your blog/vlog?
  3. What made you start blogging/vlogging?
  4. What does a perfect day look like for you?
  5. What message do you want to give to your readers/viewers when they first see your page?
  6. Why did you choose your field?
  7. **EDIT** If you could eat only one food dish for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
  8. What was your academic journey like before deciding to do a PhD?
  9. Where do you aspire to be 10 years from now?
  10. What is your biggest strength?
  11. Where do you see your blog/vlog at 1 year from now?

Click ‘subscribe’ below and follow me on IG: @sujanee 

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