Comfort, Stretch, Panic

Three useful words for experiential learning. Before setting goals or planning out a project, it’s good to think about how you feel about different aspects of the work or the possible outcomes.

  • Comfort: what do you have no problem with? What would feel fine?
  • Stretch: what would be a challenge? What would be new to you, but feels within your capabilities?
  • Panic: what would make you afraid? What would be terrible for you?

These words are useful to frame planning and review of a project. They help with lots of parts of the viva too! In preparation, what feels comfortable about your work? What might stretch you while you review your research? Do any parts of your thesis make you panic?

On the day, how can you get comfortable or feel confident? What could be a stretch in the viva? Do you feel panicked at the thought of any particular questions? After the viva, take time to reflect and review. When did you feel comfortable in the viva? What questions stretched you? Did you panic?

(I hope not!)