The Best Of The Best Of Viva Survivors 2021

Between Christmas and New Year I shared some of my favourite writing from 2021. In case you missed those posts here are links to each with a piece that particularly stands out to me.

Best of Viva Survivors 2021: Viva Prep – lots of practical posts but the one that jumps out as always-relevant is Kind Prep. You need to be kind to yourself as you get ready, whatever practical tasks you have to complete.

Best of Viva Survivors 2021: Long Posts Рafter many interactions with PhD candidates in webinars over the pandemic, Space To Feel was a post I had to write.

Best of Viva Survivors 2021: Short Posts – one of the most helpful framings I’ve found in describing questions in the viva is treating them as Opportunities To Engage. No tricks, no traps, each question is an opportunity.

Best of Viva Survivors 2021: Confidence – I set myself a little challenge in writing The Basics. Confidence comes from many places. A key source could simply be understanding what the viva is all about and realising that, given the situation, you can do well.

2021 was not an easy year and 2022 has not started very well.

I’m always hopeful, but we still live in interesting times. Who knows what the rest of the year will bring?

From me, there will be another year of Viva Survivors posts! Subscribe if you’d like to get them sent to your inbox every day ūüôā

Best of Viva Survivors 2021: Confidence

I finished my look back over favourite posts last year with the theme of “surviving” – a break with several years of tradition.

2020 was a hard year, 2021 has continued to be challenging, but it feels right to come back to confidence. Confidence makes a real difference for the viva and how a candidate engages with it. Here are some thoughts from this year:

  • Confident or Arrogant – the difference between the two. (it’s a big difference!)
  • The Basics – a lack of confidence for the viva sometimes comes, very simply, from not having a good picture of what the viva is like.
  • A Few Thoughts On Survive – while confidence is the theme for today, it feels appropriate to share a few thoughts on this too.
  • Clearing Out Viva Doubts – confidence blossoms when we remove doubts.
  • Be Brave – a little extra step you might need to take.

Survive means “manage to¬†keep going in difficult circumstances”. If you’ve made it through the last few years and your viva is some time in 2022 then you can be confident that you can rise to the challenge.

If you have managed to keep going so far, you can continue. You’ve not come this far by being merely lucky.

Keep going.

Best of Viva Survivors 2021: Short Posts

There’s only a little of 2021 left, so today’s best of is nice and short: in fact these posts are among the shortest I’ve¬†written and published on Viva Survivors!

Tomorrow we have the final Viva Survivors post of the year and on one of my favourite topics. If you haven’t already, perhaps subscribe to get it – and a daily email of viva help – in your inbox.

Best of Viva Survivors 2021: Long Posts

The Viva Survivors review of 2021 continues with some of my favourite long posts from this year.

Most of the time my daily posts range between 100 and 200 words; occasionally I go a little longer. Here are five that will take more time to read but which hopefully also contain more for the extra words.

They’re a little more reflective in most cases; it’s been¬†that kind of year I guess.

  • Still Interesting Times – a year on from my first post about the pandemic on the blog. I have a feeling there will be another post like this in March 2022 at the two year anniversary.
  • Solving The Prep Problem – a big post all about getting prep done!
  • The Missing Things – another post reflecting on how things have changed in the last few years and what you might need as a result.
  • The Essentials – a story from my journey as a researcher-developer and some questions to help unpick what you might need to get ready for the viva.
  • Space To Feel – a reflection on something important that has stood out to me more and more while delivering webinars.

More posts but fewer words tomorrow – I’ll share some of my favourite short posts from 2021.

Best of Viva Survivors 2021: Viva Prep

It’s an¬†established tradition at Viva Survivors that I finish each year by sharing a selection of¬†posts before the New Year.¬†Over the coming days I’ll share long posts, short posts and posts on confidence; today we start with the important topic of viva prep. In many ways viva prep isn’t complicated, but there are lots of ways someone could get ready for their viva. Here are some ideas:

Getting¬†ready for the viva involves doing the work – but it doesn’t have to be a burden. Sketch a plan before prep time comes, spend time¬†with your thesis, spend time on practice and you’ll be ready.

Tomorrow: a selection of some of my favourite long posts from this year!