It’s understandable to be nervous, anxious or scared about the viva. It’s not just any other day of your PhD.
You can be nervous, and hope that it doesn’t affect you too much, or you can be nervous and think about what you can do to make things better. Here are ten questions to help you unpick and cope with pre-viva nerves:
- How nervous do you feel on a scale of one to ten?
- In what ways are your nerves getting in the way of your prep?
- What do you think lies at the root of your nerves?
- What could you do to make yourself feel one bit less nervous?
- What will you do?
- How many positive things can you think of to boost your confidence?
- What ones do you think you could try in the next seven days?
- What ones will you try?
- What are you feeling most anxious about the viva?
- What are you going to do about it?
“I’m nervous” or “I’m anxious” isn’t enough. You can’t stop there. You have to work past worry I think, not be stopped by whatever barriers are going up. It’s easy for me to just say that, but if you’re in that place you have to do something about it.