A new year means a new resolution. And this year, I have just one resolution*: To finish my PhD. Yes, that’s it: My 2018 New Year resolution is just a PhD**.
Frustratingly, my undone 2017 was filled with too many hiccups (and excuses) which prevented me from realising this important resolution earlier. However, I no longer have the luxury of procrastination and the self-indulgence of excuses: If it doesn’t get done this year, it will never get done! In fact, if I don’t submit the thesis for examination before May, I can never submit it! (Yikes! It’s time to buckle down!)
Here are the general steps to make this resolution a reality:
From now until the end of April (or sooner, with a heck of a lot of hard work!) I will be writing my thesis. Once I submit it for examination, I will have about six weeks to prepare for my viva. That time will be spent considering the strengths and weaknesses of my thesis, as well as trying to anticipate potential questions that my examiners might ask.
The viva itself will last at least 2 hours but can stretch out all day. (This could be a good sign or a bad sign. I’ve heard stories on both sides.) After the viva, I will be given corrections. Depending on the type of corrections requested, I will have a couple of months or a year to complete the edits.
Once my corrections are made, I will send the changes to my examiners for review before they give me the final nod of approval. Then I will print and bind my final PhD thesis for submission to the University. At that point, I can register for graduation.
I do not think that I will manage to turn it all around in time for the late-June graduation ceremony, which means that I will not actually graduate until the late-October ceremony. Though I hope to have completed everything by summer.
I am disappointed with myself for not having finished my thesis last year, but I will not dwell on that. Instead, I am starting the New Year off with a positive “I will do it!” attitude. The next 119 days are going to be busy and bit extremely stressful. But I am ready to put in the hard work.
The Doctor will be with you shortly…
* Who am I kidding? Of course, there are other things that I am resolving for the year. But they are really the same as previous resolutions. And as I need to prioritise the PhD this year, I don’t want to over-emphasise my other 2018 resolutions.
** Just a PhD is also the name of my first PhD blog which is still active, but has been overtaken by my new PhD blog, Frances Ryan, PhD. It’s the same information on both sites, but the Just a PhD one will no longer be updated once my “2018: Just a PhD” resolution is realised.