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roasting marshmellows in phd hell

Archive for December 2013

How I Feel After Submitting My PhD

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I remember talking to a friend who had submitted hir phd a few months ahead of me and after all of the congratulations and buying of drinks, I asked how they felt.

“Eh, just the same as before,” my friend replied.

“WTF dawg?” I definitely did not say. “Don’t you feel relieved????”

“Not really.  The whole thing is kind of anticlimactic,” said my friend.

I seriously could not understand this.  But now that I’ve finally submitted my own thesis, my own catatonic state seems to reflect my friend’s experience.

I don’t really feel relief.  I don’t really feel excited or proud.  I do feel vaguely guilty that I’m not working on it anymore.  Crazy, right?  I think this lack of relief comes from the fact that I know I’ll have to defend the damn thing in several weeks time and then I may or may not have to make a few months worth of ridiculous changes.  So this feels like more of a temporary reprieve than anything else.

I also feel guilty because the ‘finished’ version still had 87 holes that I know are there.  A few things I couldn’t find for my bibliography, a few bits were I probably cited something wrong or didn’t elaborate when I should have.  A friend who had been through this many years ago told me that everyone’s thesis has shit like this in it, and that nobody but me will be aware of ‘a few bricks missing from the cathedral.’  What a great mental image that is, no?  I hope my friend is right.  You get to a point where you can’t fucking work on the damn thing anymore, and it has to be over.

Hopefully the examiners agree.

It’s funny, because the disparity between the ‘oh the phd is a research exercise’ attitude schools officially espouse and the not on the university website attitude of ‘everything you’ve ever written sucks, gtfo of my office’ reality of advisement fuck with your head until you internalize your own shitty mediocrity.

Maybe that’s the real point of the phd?

Anyways hope all of you out there in blogland have a happy new year.

Written by universityoflies

December 28, 2013 at 00:54