after viva....


hello all,

Just to say that I passed my viva - WOO HOO! (13th September) with some corrections to do - niggly ones and a few more fiddly ones. Overall I am relieved it is over and on the day the dynamic between myself and my examiners was relaxed and encouraging. Positive comments and interest in my thesis which was great and I was commended on my excellent viva performance.

After a week off, I am now working FT but have an odd sensation of numb-ness. I am pleased about the viva but not pleased about the corrections (although I agree with them and it won't take too long to change them). I keep thinking of all the negatives! I suppose it feels like an anti-climax, nearly finished, yet not quite and I still feel soooo tired. I feel like I'm in a limbo and wish I could be enthusiastic about my achievement but I just feel a bit flat. Is this common?

How did you all feel in the immediate weeks after viva? I'd be interested to hear about post-viva experiences.


Hi Blackbyrd - I'm so happy for you :-) Congrats
on the pass - that's brilliant news, I was wondering how it had gone!  I was
talking to a friend this morning who passed last week with minor corrections and
she is exactly the same - like she's been hit by a bus basically. I'm preparing
myself for much the same next week when its my turn. I was only saying to my sup
yesterday that I can't get enthusiastic about it - knowing that I can't just
'pass' (unheard of in my field pretty much) and that no matter what happens I'll
have to get writing again makes it feel anti-climactic before you even get
there! Its like, why bother with the drama act - just send me a list of what
you're gonna insist I have to do anyway and be done with it ;-)Still, the
important thing is that you've passed and that is just so fantastic

Avatar for Mackem_Beefy

First of all, congratulations and well done on getting through. (up)

I went through with minor corrections. However, I decided I wanted it finished with and did the corrections straight away so kept pushing as hard as I did pre-viva (and it was a hellish write-up period - followed by a strange but relaxed viva day). If I'd paused, I feel I'd have taken a while to get back into gear again as like you, I had a full time job (my post-doc).

The corrections were done by the end of the next day and the three sets of printouts early the following week. The internal had to pass the corrections and he agreed to see them complete printouts done, but pre-binding. Strictly speaking I should have shown post-bound copies to him, however, he recognised that if he didn't agree with the changes it would cost me more money for hard-binding.

Hard binding was complete seven days after and I took the copies to the registrars and I signed myself off.

Although the work was gone, I remained in a sort of tired hypertense buzz for about another week, but gradually coming down off it. I'd gone out for a walk one lunchtime and it was then I realised I didn't have the thesis or the viva hanging over me anymore. It really was over and I found myself thinking "What next?". It was like a plane bouncing along teh ground on landing after a very long longhaul flight. And yes, there was this sudden feeling of anti-climax.

All of a sudden, I felt normal again and I realised my energy levels were returning to normal. My sleep pattern begain to return to normal too and after a couple of months normal life had truely resumed. I guess it's then you can really look back to see what you've really achieved and for a while, enjoy it. That came was when the official notification came through two months after the viva.

I have wondered if coming down off drugs is similar, as to me it felt like I was going through withdrawal. I guess that may be because your body is not going through an adrenaline buzz anymore and it may be because you're not stuffing your body with the caffine you were beforehand to keep going. I honestly don't know - anybody answer this?

One thing that helped was a few months after, I had a decent holiday where I got as far away from work as possible. This I would recommend strongly, finance permitting.

Interestingly, you opted to take a week off after viva and have sort have come down over that week and reached that sensation earlier. However, you'll find you have to remotivate yourself to make that final corrections push. Then it will really sink in. You may find you go through this 'come down' sensation twice as a result. The second time really is the "What next?" sensation.

Again, well done!!! :-)

Ian (Mackem_Beefy)


Thank you for your replies.

Come down indeed! And getting head used to a new routine is quite difficult. However, I am still waiting for official corrections confirmation (should be with me within 2 weeks of viva - which is tomorrow!). Taking a break for a week was necessary as I'd had one month between submission and viva and was beginning to rattle!!! I agree that it's going to take super human strength to do changes. My FT work is also writing papers from my thesis (which I am very pleased about). So, I have no excuse but to look at the thesis! It's just at the moment, I'd really rather not. Maybe I have post traumatic submission disorder (PTSD!)

Day dreaming about a year off, fantasising about places to go......!!!:p