A couple of weeks ago, I submitted my PhD thesis. I really appreciated all of the congratulations I received on Twitter – thank-you all 🙂
It has taken a couple of weeks to sink in. After handing in, many people remark “you must be so relieved!” – it was about a week later that I felt relieved. Initially, my thoughts were that it isn’t really the end, because there is still the massive issue of having a viva. We set off on a family holiday immediately after hand-in though, which was great timing and a well-earned rest for all of us.
Something which is taking a bit longer to come to terms with is the idea of not being a PhD student anymore. It is five years since I left my research assistant post and returned to full-time study for my Masters and PhD. Not having my identity tied to being a PhD student feels very odd (I am still a PhD student until I have had my viva and a finalised version of my thesis has been accepted, so there is that). I know I want to stay in academia, but as yet, I don’t have another post to go to. As a huge Bowie fan (it’s been a tough year), ‘Who can I be now?’ is often in my head.
I am excited though to be able to have more time to do the things that have all fallen by the wayside in the final slog to get my thesis finished. Over the last few months, it has been the exclusive focus of my work time (and every waking moment!), so it is really nice to be able to work on other things again. I have neglected my blog too, but posts will follow soon about my recent travels to the Networked Learning Conference, Umea and Skelleftea in Sweden, and the Oxford Internet Institute summer doctoral programme.
So it’s the end, but only sort of. Will have to wait and see what happens next, but in the meantime I have plenty of non-thesis work to be getting on with!