Well, after 4 years (almost to the day) I have passed my PhD examination and will be graduating in June. It’s pretty bittersweet for me, as I really enjoyed doing the PhD and am sad to see it finished now. I did have some rough spots throughout the process, but overall it seemed to all happen very naturally in the end. In the last few months especially, the thing seemed to almost write itself and once the proofreading was done that was that. (I may have rose-coloured glasses on at the moment, though.)
While I was glad I didn’t have to go through the thesis defense that US & Canadian doctoral students have to, I almost wish I did – the Australian process takes so long and ends with an email, instead of with a bang. I submitted in September and the marking was done by December, but I didn’t hear about the result until February. Frustrating, as you might imagine. It just seems rather anti-climactic, in the end. All that work and a massive tome to call my own, and you hear about your result in an email. It’s probably compounded by the fact that I have moved away from all my friends and am living in another city 900 kms away at the moment.
But don’t get me wrong – I am thrilled I have passed, but also terrified as I now have to find something else to occupy me full time!