I submitted my revised thesis 2 weeks ago now but the wait feels more like 2 years. I'm really hoping to get my result back before Christmas but perhaps I'm being a little optimistic.
I wrote to the school today to ask what the official turnaround time for my result is. I was expecting it to be anything up to 3 months but instead got told the following from the postgraduate office:
"I can’t give you a definitive answer on this I’m afraid. It all depends on the examiners current workload and how long it takes them to read, analyse and make comments on your thesis."
Now I'm panicking that I might have to wait six months for my result...bearing in mind I originally submitted my thesis over a year ago. Is it just me or has the PhD system in the UK got some major flaws in it? No one in the process seems to care about the mental health of the student (at least not at my university) and the whole process seems so open-ended and torturous. Anyway, rant over...I think I need to practice the art of patience! To say mine is wearing thin after five years would be an understatement...
Everything crossed for you, Anz. My situation wasn't as difficult as yours because it wasn't as prolonged but I do agree with you that the system is disgusting and a large part of the reason why I felt inclined to go for a non-academic career after the way I was treated. How could I respect that system? Your mention of mental health reminded me that this time last year I was thinking, "thank god I didn't have any existing mental health issues" because I can't begin to imagine how the major correction or R&R process must impact on someone who does. I mean I took it so badly and I was always a happy, optimistic person so how must a person prone to various types of depression cope? It made me very concerned and I might pen an anonymous article at some point for Times Higher Education or someone like that because it needs to be addressed. I had two very scary occasions in the correction period where my heart started racing so fast that I had to sit down and try and catch my breath. I don't know was that a panic attack or what but it scared me as I never had any issue like that before. It's cruel.
I think Ireland, UK and HK are the places with this system that puts all the power in two people's hands. I think in other countries it's examined by a more moderated panel of people and I think that would be better.
I wish I could say something to help, Anz, but all I can say is I do understand the stress and worry you're experiencing. Nothing stops it only finding out the result but I think you do start to appreciate the little things in life more. You're one tough cookie and remind me of Pineapple who used to post here. You know you can do anything now. I'm wishing you all the best, Anz, and hoping you get the perfect Christmas present :-)
Thank you so much JStanley - your support throughout this process has really helped! I don't blame you for choosing a non-academic career. I'm still in academia part-time but not sure I could commit to it full-time...there are parts of it I love (such as teaching/inspiring) but other parts (such as this ridiculous bureaucratic system) that I hate. Fortunately I don't have any mental health issues (no more than the average person anyway!) but the stress of this PhD has certainly made me feel, at times, depressed, angry and isolated. Like you say, for people who have been diagnosed with mental health problems situations like this would be an immense struggle for them.
I will of course let you know how I get on as soon as I hear anything. I've decided to check my relevant email box twice a day (once in the morning and once late-afternoon) so as to structure my agitated mind!! If not I'll be checking it every hour and probably for the sake of nothing! Thank you again for all your help & advice - keep enjoying life outside the insanity that is academia! :)
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