My name is Sarah and I have just finished my PhD. I have a few thoughts I want to share that will hopefully be useful to those who are doing their PhD, particularly those who are having worries about their PhD.
I convinced myself in the last three months of my PhD that I was going to either fail or have to undertake major revisions. I did this even though my supervisors were happy and confident in my work. I ended up passing convincingly. I sailed through my PhD with limited levels of stress until the last three months. All of a sudden I began to feel doubt as the time to hand in drew nearer. I convinced myself that my work was flawed in terms of methodology and in other areas. This caused me a large amount of ultimately unnecessary stress. What I should have focused on was the fact that I had done my best, that I put a monumental effort in and that I could do no more. Whether it passed or not was out of my control. So tip number one is to try and remember to invest your energy in only the things that you have control over (easier said than done but helpful to remember none the less) and to back yourself!
My second piece of advice is to remember that you are not your PhD. Your identity can become so wrapped up in the project and the idea of failing or receiving large revisions seems so embarrassing. Please remember that even trying to do a PhD in itself is a huge accomplishment. It's a learning process. To anyone that has or may have to do major corrections or maybe even fail, please remember that it is our failures that help us to learn and that lay the grounds for our success. That sounds so corny but it contains a very real and beautiful truth if you are willing to embrace your failures, mourn them, accept them and then use them and appreciate them as valuable learning opportunities.
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