A Long Way From Impossible

There’s lots about life that is difficult at the moment. Some aspects might even be practically impossible, compared to life in 2019, or even a few months ago. Thankfully, the viva isn’t one of those impossible things. There are difficult aspects to vivas, but none are impossible.

  • Knowing what to expect is not impossible. You can ask, you can explore, you can find out.
  • Knowing what to do to prepare is not impossible. It takes time – but not a lot – it could be tricky to manage if you’re social distancing and have limited space, but it can be done.
  • Knowing what to do on the day is not impossible. Ask others how they approached it, find out what’s involved with an online viva, decide how you want to approach the situation.
  • Building confidence for the viva is not impossible. Reflect on what you’ve done previously, see what you can do to remind yourself of all your talent. You must be talented to have got this far.

Some things in life will be beyond your control now. Some things will be impossible for you to do anything practical to change the situation, and that can feel really, really hard in so many ways.

Your viva is not one of those things.

Your viva, in all aspects, is a long way from impossible.

Keep going.

Only Difficult

Survive means manage to keep going in difficult circumstances.

The viva is only difficult.

It’s a challenge, but not beyond you.

If it feels overwhelming, reflect a little on the challenges you’ve overcome during your PhD. How big were they? How challenging? How difficult? How many serious obstacles have you overcome to get to the viva?

The viva isn’t trivial, but it’s not impossible either. It’s only difficult.

And you can do difficult.