It could be that, like me, having to wait for something means your thoughts turn to asking “What if…?” These questions aren’t always helpful for keeping calm or confident. Sometimes they even prompt nervousness. They could be natural to ask, but seriously unhelpful in those moments.
Before or after the viva, wherever you are, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to wait.
Waiting to start, waiting while your examiners talk afterwards. Wait to get going or wait for it to be done and the result known. Waiting might simply feel uncomfortable or it could spark anxious questions, depending on your temperament and how you feel in those situations.
If you know you feel uncomfortable in those situations, what could you do?
By now, I’m pretty confident when I deliver a presentation or seminar, but I still get nervous waiting. So I have a routine that starts things off. I have a small series of tasks to calm me and engage me while the time ticks down. I have music that I listen to which connects me with the work I’m about to do.
What could you do? Is there something you could listen to before your viva that might help? Is there a series of steps you could take to keep you calm? A process for setting up your space that would help you?
And afterwards, if you’re at home or your university, what could you do while waiting for your examiners to finish their discussions? Could you go for a short walk? Make a drink? Talk to someone?
You’ll most likely have to wait on the day of your viva. What can you do to feel comfortable in those moments?