Following Wednesday’s post, you could be a person, in a place, with a problem at the end of your PhD too. The mammoth task of submitting your thesis is done, but then you wonder:
- What if my examiners don’t like something?
- What if I’m wrong?
- What if I forget everything?
- What if I’m too nervous?
- What if I go blank?
- What if………
Sometimes you might have more than a hypothetical problem too. Maybe there’s a genuine error in a chapter. Perhaps you realise now there’s something else you wanted to say. You feel a gap in your knowledge.
None of these situations, hypothetical or definite, are insurmountable. None of them are beyond you.
Postgraduate researchers, as a rule, are are not just problem solvers: they are problem seekers. A PhD journey is built on finding problems to explore and (hopefully) solve. You have to. It’s not showing up for a 9-5, the same thing every day. No: you have to find problems, possibly problems that are beyond you at times, and rise to meet them.
Why should the end of your PhD, prep for the viva or the viva itself, be any different?
Of course there’ll be more problems. For someone like you, there will always be more problems to solve.
And for someone like you – capable, talented, knowledgeable – there will be answers too.
The final chapter of your PhD story sees you with obstacles still to overcome, challenges that may test you, but more capable than ever to meet them. Your story comes to a conclusion not simply with a person, in a place, with a problem.
It’s you, here, to get this done.
Go do it.