Level Up

In some video games you defeat monsters or complete tasks and gain quantifiable experience that helps you to level up: over time you gain points to invest in making your character better. Stronger abilities, new equipment and perhaps completely new skillsets.

A webinar participant suggested to me that this was like the viva:

After much toil and many obstacles you have reached the hallowed halls of your destiny. You are the mighty wielder of the legendary Sword of Thesis! Only you can overcome the Terrifying Twin Dragons of Examination!!

For obvious reasons, I like the idea, but also I think the reality of the PhD presents something different to this fantasy viva micro-world. By the time you reach the viva, you – the brave hero – have levelled up so many times, and overcome so many great challenges, that the difficulties you face in the viva are not so terrible.

The Twin Dragons really aren’t so scary at all actually.

Questions can be managed. Fears can be resolved. You’re no longer a mere mortal.

There’s challenge for you in the viva, but your experience helps you overcome it.