Friends & Family

There may be a disconnect between you and your friends and family when it comes to the viva. Colleagues, peers, your supervisors – they’ll all have an idea of the stakes involved in a PhD and what the viva means. Some of your friends and family, friendly, supportive and lovely, will have no idea.

They see you working, but don’t know how you do it.

They see you busy, but don’t know what you’re doing.

They see you stressed, but don’t know why.

You might have trouble sharing how and what you do, but you can certainly help them with why. Practically, they may be able to do very little to help you prepare – they probably can’t ask you questions, or help you explore expectations, and they won’t be able to look through your thesis to help you annotate it – but they could do a lot to support you and help you feel ready. They can help you create an environment in which you’ll thrive through your preparations and in the viva itself (assuming you have a video viva).

Let your friends and family know why you’re doing what you do, and they’ll find ways to help you.