Well, my viva is today.

It’s occurred to me more than once in the last couple of months that I really ought to update this blog, but to be honest, I didn’t have much to say. After the relentless drudgery of data collection and analysis and the mad rush to write up and submit my thesis, my head just went blank and all I wanted to do was spend the days bumming around, listening to the radio, eating, and going out for long walks. Sometimes I would flick through my thesis or read a paper or two. Most of the time, I just sat around, dazed, still unable to quite believe I had no urgent work to do.

Anyway, the days passed quicker than I thought they would. Already it’s been nearly 12 weeks since I submitted. Since the first day I started this PhD, the viva has always seemed like a mysterious event, very vague, very far off in the distance. I always knew it would come time to have it eventually, but now that the day’s here, I’m feeling a little nervous. Nervous not just because I’m anxious to do well, but also because I want desperately for things to change now that I’m finally putting the finishing touches to this long, almost never-ending chapter of my life.

It’s at 1pm today. Everything’s set, ready to go. I feel both comfortable and restless in my suit. My shirt’s quite loose and nothing’s itchy or pinchy, but at the same time the newness of the clothes gives me a sense of self-consciousness that’s just slightly daunting. I don’t think I’ve ever even worn a suit before.

My mock viva last week went surprisingly well. I was warned by one of my supervisors not to assume the real viva will be exactly the same, if only because it’s just impossible to predict what the exact questions are going to be, but still, I think having the experience of being ‘interrogated’ by two well-versed academics independent of your supervisory team and having to think on your feet and come up with feasible answers on the spot will prove to be quite indispensable.

Honestly, I’ve no idea what’s going to happen today. I’ve done my best all through this crazy journey. Now’s the time to give this one last shot. With any luck, I’ll pass the damn thing and be done with it.

Some people look forward to getting ‘Dr.’ put on their credit cards when they pass their vivas. I’m just looking forward to my freedom.

Advertisements