Survive & Thrive

Let’s start with dictionary definitions:

  • Survive: manage to keep going in difficult circumstances.
  • Thrive: grow, develop and be successful.

I get into conversations on a semi-regular basis about whether or not survive is the right verb for the viva. Thrive sounds good. Thrive sounds better than survive in many ways. Perhaps it would be better to rebrand, both myself and my advice…?

I don’t think so: for one thing, “viva survivor” rhymes and there’s nothing quite like a good rhyme for latching into someone’s memory!

Secondly, more importantly, I don’t think survive and thrive are mutually exclusive. Why not do both in the viva? Who says you can’t manage to keep going in difficult circumstances to grow, develop and be successful?

The viva is an exam and a conversation. You play the dual role of expert and student. You can be prepared for it and yet unaware of what exactly is going to happen. The viva is lots of things, all at once.

There’s room for you to survive and thrive.