The Best Of The Best Of Viva Survivors 2020

Between Christmas and New Year I shared some of my favourite posts from the blog from 2020. In case you missed them here’s a link to those posts, and a link to my favourite post from each category!

Best of Viva Survivors 2020: Viva PrepSix Steps For Friction-free Prep does exactly what it says in the title. I explore all the different aspects of this post in detail in other posts, and they’re topics that I like to come back to again and again. I like the simplicity of this post.

Best of Viva Survivors 2020: Long PostsBeing Thankful stands out to me. Gratitude helps. It can’t always solve problems immediately, but can help frame the situation better. Viva prep and the viva can both be challenging, but being aware of what has helped you (and what could help you still) can encourage you to look again at where you are and what you have to support you.

Best of Viva Survivors 2020: Short Posts – I realised in May that I had latched on to a few new ways of expressing something about being “ready” for the viva. Better & Ready was a neat way of sharing these thoughts.

Best of Viva Survivors 2020: Surviving – for the last few years I’ve finished off my best of series with posts on confidence. Exploring confidence has helped me personally a lot over the last decade. But for 2020 it felt appropriate to reflect on surviving a little more, another topic that comes up in my work a lot. Is Survival Enough? raises the point that while survive is a good verb to have in mind for the viva, it’s not the only thing you could find through the process.

Interesting Times is an important post for me too; back in March 2019 it had to be written. At the start of that week I went from being a guy who travelled up and down the UK most weeks between different universities, to being a guy who stays in his little home office and smiles into the camera to deliver a seminar.

Going back to gratitude: I’m very thankful that I was able to keep maintaining this blog all through 2019 and keep helping where I could. Thank you for reading! And if any of these posts resonate with you, or you know someone who might benefit, do pass them on!

Best of Viva Survivors 2020: Surviving

2020 hasn’t been an easy year, has it? 2021 feels like it’s going to be tough too.

There are still challenges and changes ahead of us all. As with the viva, to begin with, we’re called to survive – which means “manage to keep going in difficult circumstances“. 

  • Interesting Times – I wrote this post on March 16th, before the first lockdown in the UK, but after we had started our own family lockdown. This was an extra post for that day, written out of a need to share something.
  • New Expectations? – the viva is all online now, for now at least. That doesn’t mean that it’s bad, but it’s different.
  • No Hurry, No Pause – not a post explicitly on surviving, but the linked resource resonates, as do some of the questions which are mentioned.
  • Fortunate Positions – I share a story that explores both why and how people survive in the viva…
  • By The Numbers – …and some questions to explore that idea a little more.
  • Is Survival Enough? – a question I’ve been reflecting on a lot lately.

Surviving might be uncomfortable sometimes. It might be at odds with your preferences or skillset. But there are reasons you’ve got this far; reasons that have helped you through these difficult circumstances. Remember them and keep going.

Best of Viva Survivors 2020: Short Posts

We head towards the end of the year with today’s look back at some of the shortest posts I’ve written and published in 2020.

Short posts are fun to write. Sometimes they come from a great big idea that I can express concisely, sometimes I realise that fifty words is simply enough. I’ll be thinking a lot in the coming months about shorter posts, and maybe some way to share a collection of them.

Tomorrow we finish the review of the year’s posts with a topic that has been on my mind a lot: surviving.

Best of Viva Survivors 2020: Long Posts

We continue the review of this year’s 350+ blog posts by exploring a handful of the longer posts I’ve written. Most days, the posts are between 150 and 200 words, but occasionally I go into greater depth or length on a point!

Brevity is good, but I really like having the space to reflect sometimes. Have you read any other long posts on the blog that you liked?

Tomorrow: we get back to keeping things brief, and I share the best of my short posts from this year!

Best of Viva Survivors 2020: Viva Prep

Every year on the blog I finish by sharing a few days of my favourite posts from the year. We start 2020’s round-up with the important topic of viva preparation, and posts that cover many different aspects of getting ready for the viva.

What will you be doing to get ready for your viva? And have you read any other helpful posts on the topic on Viva Survivors, or elsewhere, that you could share with someone who needed help?

Tomorrow: the best of my long posts from this year!