Today I am not going to give advice, nor I am going to answer questions. Today I just want to talk to you about the roller coaster that has been the last couple of months and particularly the last couple of days.
Thanks to Facebook I can tell you that five years ago I was accepted to the PhD program I am presently enrolled. I mean, I could tell you more stuff, but this is the relevant one. I am a sucker for circularity and so I love that if five years ago I was at the beginning of the beginning, I am now at the beginning of the end. You guys, I have officially submitted my thesis for evaluation. I am also a sucker for puns or play on lyrics, hence my last tweet or status update.
The thing is, if you would’ve asked me last Tuesday, I wasn’t going to do my submission that day. We’ve been working on my article first, and the initial plan was to submit that BEFORE submitting my thesis. Alas, and this is something I never thought I would say, thanks to the red tape involved in a thesis submission in my institute, I HAD to do the submission the day.
Since February and for a bit more than three months straight, I worked at the lab every single day of the month, and I mean every single day. Not one of those “oh I have to go a do a quick check up on my cells” no, no, it was full eight to ten hours’ days, every day. I had no weekends, balancing social appointment became even harder, and sleep was…well, let’s say limited. I was writing both my article and my thesis at the same time, so any incubation time was used there. Needless to say, I was exhausted. Finally, by the end of April I managed to send everything to my advisor, and then I had to wait for him.
Once again, we had a plan; he would have time to work on both documents, and we could do the submissions easily during May, right? WRONG. Grant renewals, congress applications, and whatever else came our way, and so I woke up on the 31st of May sure that this was just not going to happen this month. Was I disappointed, sure, I am someone who loves to stick to the plan, but then again, this year I’ve managed to let go of a lot of stuff I can really control (look at me being an adult!) and figured ok, let’s find out if I need to do any changes to register for another trimester.
Turns out it was going to be changes galore. So many of them and so.much.red.tape involved that my advisor just said: you know what, let’s just submit your thesis as it is. Panic? Me? Overthinking about the fact that at that point I had four hours or so to re format, polish my document and the fact that it was in French and I needed to track down someone who could check the language as well as the form, and give it back to me on time? Me?
Because this is how these things work, my computer froze, EndNote decided to act up, taking the longest time possible to update my links…and then, with 5 minutes to spare…I submitted on time.
I would love to tell you that a huge sense of relief filled me, but no. Turns out submitting your thesis electronically is actually very “unmomentous “, kind off when you want to hung up, putting down the phone in anger, but all you do is press a button. And yet…as I went home, this feeling of “well, you did it” started taking over, ever so slowly. And now we’re here.
I still need the whole submission to be accepted, to then be corrected, to then be re submitted by me after corrections, to then do my defense…so as you can see, it’s just the beginning of the end, and the end might as well take another three months from now (there was apparently a girl that took two whole years to finish the whole process, but she’s the outlier, thankfully) but the point is…I’m finally at the beginning of the final lap of my PhD. If I am being honest, almost nothing went according to plan in the past five years, but what I want to tell you today is, it was ok that it didn’t, for in the end, here I am.
Am I nervous for all what’s left to do? Certainly. But at the same time, I am very excited to complete this path and move on to the next.
That’s it for today. If you have any questions or comments, let me know!