I enjoy seeing viva success shared on Twitter. It’s fun to see people tagging posts #PhinisheD or #PhDone. I like seeing people celebrate their hard work, and others joining in to acknowledge the dedication and effort that goes into a PhD.
I smile sadly though when I see someone say that they “got lucky”. They “got past their examiners”. They scraped corrections or owe all their PhD success to things “just working out”.
There are parts of a PhD that can be attributed to good fortune – when a candidates works hard and that work pays off. But they’re not lucky. They’ve not scraped by. They’ve worked. They’ve stayed determined and developed themselves. Especially considering the times we’re living through, if you finish your PhD you’re not lucky: you earned it.
Consider the words you use to describe your success. The words you use to describe all the stages of your PhD journey have an impact. If you consider yourself simply lucky then you take something away from the talent, work and time you’ve invested – and ultimately you can take something away from the self-confidence you could build from all of that.