Post-Viva Confusion?


Hi everyone!

Just wanted to put a few thoughts down and hoped others might relate to..well...Im not sure what it is but I'll call it 'Post-Viva Confusion'?

Essentially, I submitted couple months ago and did my viva last week (went very well and passed with minor corrections). But since the viva, I've just been feeling so weird and empty and confused, in a way I cant really explain, its kind like a big part of your life has just been taken from you? I guess its the realisation of not being a grad student anymore, having to think about the future, and all the stuff you didnt worry about too much during the PhD? Maybe also now knowing the PhD is officially over, it kinda feels like a part of you is missing in a way and youve got this big gap to fill? Ive got a job in the meantime (though not what i wanna do long-term) so I guess its good to be doing something, but I dunno, it feels like I miss the Phd!

I dont want to sound miserable! as overall I didnt find the writing up too stressful and ended up submitting a couple months before my deadline, so in all writing up wasnt a bad experience! (although the PhD certainly did have its miserable moments at times!). But did wonder if this Post-Viva Confusion was a common thing that others have experienced? and would be interesting to hear your stories!

all the best


I think it's pretty normal to have that kind of feeling. It's what they call "anti-climax'. I also had that feeling for a short while after passing the viva but since I did my PhD part time and had a full time job, I did not have much time to miss my PhD! I just had to continue working on the same job...


I had this feeling as well. I had a similar experience to you, although some parts were tough, overall I enjoyed the PhD and finished ahead of schedule. I think part of it is being so motivated to finish and then when suddenly it is, your left wondering "why did I spend so much time to get here". I had dreams and aspirations of where getting a PhD would take me but of course they were not going to all come true as soon as I recieved my PhD. You just have to identify what your goals are and keep on working towards them. I also had these feelings after completing my first postdoc. Currently enjoying my second postdoc though and trying to set things up for the next step to try and avoid this "feeling" when it ends!