Medals

“We’re so pleased to present you with this award for shortest viva this year, well done!”

“Congratulations, you did it! Here is a Silver Star for no typos in your thesis!”

“This ribbon shows that you are Quite Probably The Smartest Cookie Ever. Both the external examiner and I salute you!”

Three sentences which have never been uttered during or after a viva. And there are no medals for the viva. There are different awards, like getting no corrections, minor, major and so on, but you don’t get a prize. You’ll get a certificate when you graduate, but it’s not the same.

You’re not doing your PhD and the viva for badges and medals though. (I hope) You have your reasons, but sometimes those reasons – your why – get lost in the doing. As the end of the PhD looms, take some time to reflect on why you were doing it all in the first place. Maybe those reasons have changed as well, but in either case it’s interesting.

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