Toy Santa Claus with presents

Dear Santa,

the bloggers have been good PhD students and postdocs this year. They all wish to spend with their family and friends, maybe you can help some of them. Comfy clothes, books, and a bit of magic will also be appreciated.

Below you can read more about the wishes from bloggers Luca, Tracer, Ioanna, Meruert and the blog coach Natalie.

Comfy clothes, family fun and trust in science

Photo: Tessa Rampersad/Unsplash

By Luca Love

I would like some new clothes. Something more formal but still comfortable. Over Christmas I will be spending much needed time with my family and friends, especially with my 2nd niece who I have not seen in person yet! 

For science I am hoping that the public trusts science more. Recent political victories show that science is not being respected as it should be and science (and an evidence based approach generally) needs to be a strong factor in all decisions. 

Another pressing issue is academia as a whole. There are still underlying problems with hypercompetition, short contracts, low pay, abuse and toxicity combined with the work needed to publish in competitive journals continues to rise. All of which has led to a large shortage of postdocs which if not tackled now may have severe consequences for science. 

Residence permit extension for international students

Photo: Mana/Unsplash

By Tracer Yong  

I really need my resident permit extension to come through as soon as possible. I mean, I submitted my application in August thinking that it will definitely come through before the end of the year. And now here I am, alone with no new resident permit… 

Luckily, (is it?) I looked around and found a whole bunch of people are also stranded in Sweden for the same reason during Christmas. So I would be fine with all their company. But please, make it before February, so I can celebrate Chinese New Year with my family back home! 

Back to routines in snowy Greece

Photo: Fabian Mardi/Unsplash

By Ioanna Tsea

As an international student, nothing gets me more excited than going back home for the holidays.  

Most people think of Greece as a sunny place all year round, but where I am from, it actually snows during Christmas!  

People say there is comfort in routine, and in this case, I will agree as I see myself looking forward to going back home every year, spending precious time with my family and enjoying the Christmas turkey my mother makes since I can remember.  

So for yet another year I wish to spend Christmas with my dearest family and friends in the place I call home! 

Time for reading and kindness 

Photo: Josh Hild/Unsplash

By Meruert Sarsenova

This Christmas I will go home (I hope the weather in Astana will be snowy!) and be with my family and I really appreciate this opportunity.  

This year has been difficult in many ways, there have been joy and sorrow, happy moments as well as difficulties and struggles, in other words, all the “nature seasons” of life.  

Next year, I wish to be with my loved ones, have more time for hobbies, and read more (will bring few books from home). Especially, read old classic fairy tales, because they contain the wisdom of centuries, and they talk about the most valuable things in our lives, which we tend to forget about (as we grow up) in this fast-paced age. 

I wish all people more kindness, even in the darkest times. A friend of mine once said that this is the most important trait in a person (and so you are, Hanna Mäkelä). Also, I wish everyone to be mindful of their actions, and remember that each of us is responsible for what our future and the world will be like. Am I asking too much? Is this part not addressed to Santa but to all of us? Maybe, but that is what I wish and hope for 🙂 And of course, I wish everyone a warm and cozy little Christmas wherever you are. 

A thingmajig for ideas 

Photo: Aaron Burden/Unsplash

By Natalie von der Lehr

Do you know the feeling of having this idea in your head that is just swirling around? And the only thing left to do is to get it down on paper? I am constantly walking around with a whirlwind of ideas and unwritten texts in my head. The thing I would really need in my life is a thingmajig that can transfer these ideas and texts directly into a document. I suspect that there will be a lot of editing but hope that this would be better than a blank page. And I would not lose good (and bad) ideas! I could keep all of them in a treasure box for whenever I need them! 

If this thingmajic is hard to find or manufacture until christmas (I guess there will be a number of issues with ethical considerations, patents and such), I wish for a pretty notebook and pen, and a cosy space with no internet. That usually does the trick.  


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