I passed my viva ten years ago today. It sparked an interest for me that I didn’t know would become a passion and a vocation…
…but a lot of my viva is gone from my memory now. I remember bits and pieces; that’s to be expected I guess.
I remember not sleeping very much the night before.
I remember feeling nervous but not too nervous.
I remember feeling surprised that my examiners asked questions during my presentation.
I remember my internal using the phrase “proof by gravity” and wished I had thought of it.
I remember wondering if everyone stood for their vivas (they don’t – I’ve never met anyone else who has).
I don’t remember 90% of the questions I got.
I don’t remember 95% of the corrections I got.
I don’t remember why I wore a sweater for my viva which was in one of the hottest rooms in the maths building.
I don’t remember who the first person was that I told the result to.
I don’t remember seeing my supervisor afterwards, but he must have been around.
It was a long time ago and a lot has happened since then. My viva was important, but it’s not the most important thing I’ve ever done.
Your viva will be a milestone, but you have to put it in perspective. There’s a lot you’ve done and a lot you will do that will probably matter more.
I remember feeling happy afterwards. I hope you will too.