Unfinished Projects

Your PhD thesis and your success at the viva don’t rest on you doing “all the things”. You need enough of the right outputs and outcomes for your research to demonstrate that you’ve achieved PhD status.

If you have unfinished projects and they worry you or occupy your thoughts, consider:

  • Unfinished now doesn’t mean unfinished forever. As you complete your PhD it could help to make sure your work is left in a state where you can pick it up again some day.
  • Unfinished doesn’t mean that you didn’t learn something. What ideas grew out of that effort? Did any of it make a difference to your thesis?
  • Unfinished could invite questions. If the pandemic or something else stopped your progress that could be a topic for discussion in the viva. Or if you made a choice to focus in another way that’s also interesting and worth talking about.

Remember that a project that’s unfinished now could remain unfinished forever. As you finish your PhD you could be leaving something behind. That could also lead to mixed feelings for you.

Take time to resolve your emotions either way, so you don’t carry them with you longer than you need to.