It’s been exactly a year since I submitted my PhD thesis! I remember how slowly these last days went by, torturing me and making me doubt my work and research. I was full of worries that my writing wasn’t good enough to reflect my researcher abilities, and having none of my supervisors correcting my thesis prior to submission just worsen my anxiety. And as if that wasn’t enough to make even the strongest character doubt their worth, two hours prior thesis printing my supervisor ‘advised’ me not to submit as it wasn’t a good thesis. Two hours before submission! I submitted and wished that everything would go well instead. PhD thesis submission a year onwards
I remember re-doing the last of my graphs and drinking cups of tea one after another. I remember how I managed to write the entire thing in a small 50 * 50 cm size desk as I hadn’t ordered my big desk yet. I remember that I had to keep working on the blog to pay my bills and that some people couldn’t understand why I had to decline time consuming collaborations. PhD thesis submission a year onwards
I also remember the anticipation of PhD freedom! Oh, this sweet, sweet period of time that there would be no PhD worry in my head. The time that there would be no graphs to be completed and statistical analysis to be done. This sweet time that I’d finally dream of a better life, a life that I’d be in control of things and not this mass of research data that needed to be analysed, explained and reported in this 300 pages thesis in front of me… PhD thesis submission a year onwards
The day I submitted my PhD thesis I had no more energy left in my entire system.
I took the bus, walked with Cruz into the Student InfoHub and submitted it. We did it!
The girls behind the desk congratulated me and asked me how it felt, and all I wanted to do is cry and tell them that no one believed in me, that no one corrected my thesis, that English is not my first language and that there are a billion more worries in my head.
But, I just smiled back, signed the paper and said ‘it feels good’. And with whatever strength I had left, I asked them to take a picture of me, Cruz and the thesis.
And if you look a bit closer in this picture, you’ll see that I hold back my tears, because at this particular moment of submitting my four years of research, I submitted my soul, my life, my worries, my doubts and a heavy, HEAVY stone that was on my chest for the past years. And it was all gone.PhD thesis submission a year onwards
If it wasn’t for Cruz, I am sure I would have cried a lot. Thankful for this little rascal of mine that saves me in all the awkward situations I find myself at times, I withdrew myself and left the building.
I cannot recollect what was the first thing I did once I returned back home. Most likely I texted my Mum and sister, made a cup of tea and curled in the sofa with Cruz. Thinking of what I just did…PhD thesis submission a year onwards
So, how does life feel one year onwards my PhD thesis submission? The answer is simple: It’s much, much more relaxing and stress free. My skin looks healthier, I am not consumed by statistical analysis and Biophysics. I don’t dream of chemistry formulas and I can FINALLY sleep at nights!
Have I done everything I was hoping for? No. I still haven’t been to Australia, I still haven’t finished the decorations of the flat and there are still loads of things I haven’t mastered, such as learning Italian and how to sew!
But, I am healthy. I am not obsessively checking my e-mails worrying about supervisors’ potential responses, I am not worrying that the data analysis is wrong and I am most certainly 100% confident about my writing skills, analytical thinking and abilities as a researcher judging by my PhD thesis outcome and wonderful graduation!
All in all, studying for my PhD wasn’t easy, but knowing that I did all this by myself just makes me so much prouder of this achievement. And you know what, it was all worth it!
Anastasia PhD thesis submission a year onwards