I should really be over the moon, but somehow, I feel lost after the PhD. The viva itself (in late October) went OK. Both examiners were friendly and it had lasted less than an hour (both my supervisor and I thought that it was on the short side). I was given minor corrections and 12 weeks to revise the thesis. I didn't feel that it was a 'proper' pass after the viva, because of the 12 weeks correction time, which had made me wondered if a serious rewrite was needed. I got the list of corrections in early Nov, and it turned out it was indeed minor. I spent about 4 hours on the revisions, which my supervisors were happy for me to submit. Even at this stage, I was still worried that the examiners might not be satisfy with the changes. So, still no celebration at that stage!
I submitted the corrections in early Dec (my supervisors had been slow with the response), and the examiners confirmed that they were happy with the changes a week later. After uploading my e-thesis on the uni website, I was informed that I have been placed on the pass list 3 days later, and the PhD is now fully confirmed with no loose ends. So why am I still not in a celebratory mood? If anything, I feel a little lost now that the focus of the PhD is gone.
I can feel you!
I submitted in January 2022 and defended in April 2022 with the most minor of minor corrections. My examiners spent more time talking about future work than the actual work during viva that I had prepared for massively. Walking out I felt like, "Was that it?" and to be honest the answer is yes. Finishing your PhD is a bit like grief. The monkey on your back for the last few years has just died and you are suffering loss. I think everyone feels a bit this way so don't feel bad or let impostor syndrome kick in. You have passed and it is now time to move on.
I don't think there is a simple cure except look forward in your life. Have a holiday, catch up with friends or just make plans. Look for a job or set new goals. If you make little plans here and there you will soon fill that PhD hole in to time.
Plus congrats on passing!
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