But You Didn’t

There’s a lot you could have done during your PhD. By the time you submit you’ll be aware of the alternate methods, different approaches, endless questions you could have explored or papers you could have read but didn’t.

Particularly given the 2020s so far, you can imagine that many candidates will have made plans and had to change them: forced by COVID or other circumstances to find new ways to do things or different directions to go in. Maybe your own situation over the last few years has involved disruption or changes due to the pandemic.

“Maybe I should have… Maybe I could have… Maybe it would be better if…”

It’s only natural, with all these thoughts and more, to think about alternatives and other possibilities, even what might have been. It can be helpful as part of viva prep to be aware of how other methods work or have a guess at what a different research focus or opportunity might have brought.

However, it won’t help to think about those things at the expense of considering what you have actually done though. Whatever possibilities you’ve had to forego, if you’ve made it to submission and you’re preparing for your viva that means you did something right.

It means you succeeded. It means you have something to be proud of and something to focus on.

You didn’t do a lot of things during your PhD, for a lot of reasons.

What you did is amazing and worth preparing to talk about in your viva.