So I am incredibly lucky and I have secured a post doc that starts next month. It is only a 5 month position but I have something for when my PhD funding runs out and I am incredibly grateful.
That means, I need to have my thesis ready for submission. It is nearly done. But I find myself constantly procrastinating over the last few bits. I really don't want to finish it. I'm not ready for it to be over.
Has anyone else go through this? And any tips for actually getting it done or at least feeling better about it being over?
Not quite PhDstudent Charlie, I am still waiting for my second supervisor to complete her final reading! She completed 3 chapters 3 weeks ago (and the changes took just a weekend) and has asked me for the rest of the month for the final chapters. I'm in the situation where I literally can't do anything more until I get the remaining chapters. From my perspective it is finished and I am feeling pretty stressed by having to wait before submission, although given her promise, I expect the final corrections or suggestions to be ready by the end of this week.
When I got to the point where you are-very close but feeling a bit over it, I made a list and a plan. Once I actually forced myself to start on the plan I couldn't stop as being so close to submission brought a momentum of its own.
Finishing does bring a sense of loss. These last few weeks, I have found I really miss working on it. Best wishes during this time.
I felt similar to this at the end of my BSc. Everyone was so happy and excited about finishing, and I was completely depressed. It was only when I got into my next venture that I stopped missing it and actually began to see it was a good thing that it was over and done with! I think it is a comfort zone thing. No one wants to leave their comfort zone (unless it is really really uncomfortable! And even then there is a tendency to look back at it with rose tinted specs as you reach the end of the torment!).
It's great to learn of the range of perspectives about completing and how it affects individuals differently. I think it is important to acknowledge that it can affect people in various ways. There is no one size fits all with the PhD.
Some people are delighted it is over and can move on quickly. Others I have known, particularly very scholarly people who, for one reason or another, are not going to go into academia, finishing can be tricky, as although having the torment over is great, having spent that time on an activity that has become a part of their identity, which is now over, can lead one to wondering "well what is it that I do now? I love research but it isn't going to be my main occupation perhaps, and now it is up to me".
And generating a new project, that includes the love of research can take a while to develop. In my experience, friends and colleagues have made this transition successfully eventually. It hasn't always happened quickly though for all and the feelings are real and mixed-delight and loss, pain and relief. You can feel all of this at once. I think taking care of oneself during this time is important. (Personally, until my second supervisor returns the rest of my document and she has one day left, I won't really know how it is...but I'm open to the range of emotions). Wishing you all the best PhDCharlie for the next few weeks while you wait, after submission.
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