Passed a major milestone – week 50

PhD Life

Basking in the tranquility of the post-hand-in day.

The relative care-free feeling that I am now enjoying is most welcome. It has been several months since I have felt like this. Finally, I can relax. On Wednesday I handed in my one year report, and now things are in motion that are out of my control. I have to wait until my transfer viva where I will be quizzed on my report for a while, and then my examiners will decide if I can continue or not. As I do not know when this day will be, I can relax for a while.

Although, this state of relaxation is relative, and I cannot rest on my laurels as I need to take delivery of my plants for my next experiment. This is by far my least favourite part of doing a PhD, by ‘this’ I mean organisation. I have to or get to, organise it all my self which is tedious, to say the least.

I am in a constitutional quandary. Back when I was younger and taking any job I could find, I absolutely hated having to do things that other people told me to at timings they decided, a.k.a a job. Now I have almost complete freedom to do as I please I am having to rethink my philosophy on this. The organisation of my work is something I would outsource if I had the budget for it.

In fact, having thought about it a little longer, I need to organise things because my PhD dictates I have to. Therefore, I never really had freedom in the first place.

Despite passing a milestone this week, my life hasn’t really changed; this is a phenomenon that is banal to point out, but I shall do it anyway. After all, It’s all content. So every time in my life I have passed a significant milestone, such as completing my undergraduate degree, I had expected a significant change in my life when passing this milestone; however, life continues almost exactly the same. You would think I would learn from this and not expect big life events to change things too drastically. When I complete this PhD, it will be a day like any other, and there will be no difference between pre and post PhD life, although it will feel significant in the run-up to this point. I think the word for this phenomenon is anti-climax.

Apart from the milestone, this week has been fairly standard. I have been continuing all the experiments I have been talking about for the last few months, and planning what I am going to be doing with the void that has been left by the departure of the report. I am going to fill this void with more writing and more statistics. This sounds dull, and that is because it is dull. However, I need to get better with multivariate statistics as my PhD is essentially an exercise in collecting and analysing multivariate data. And I need to write as I need to publish, lest I perish.

I have a paper that Is maybe 20% completed that I would like to make some headway on. I am sure many of you have bits of writing that are nowhere near complete, but as a completionist, I only have one piece that is incomplete. And as you can Imagine this is awfully unsettling.

Published by Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

2 thoughts on “Passed a major milestone – week 50

  1. Congratulations! Milestones are a good tangible way to measure progress, and it’s good to have a moment to regather yourself while your work is in someone else’s hands for a little bit. Some kinds of progression don’t have the same defined moments of achievement, so with that in mind (and knowing that one purpose of the blog is to improve your writing) I wanted to say that your opening sentence is just fantastic. It captures the feeling you describe in a well-structured and concise way (as does this whole post, I would say). I like the phrase “constitutional quandary” (my mistyping “like” as “live” gave me a bit of an existential moment), and the idea of relative relaxation.
    Anyway, I hope this encourages you that the time you’ve put into this so far has been well-spent.


  2. Dude! You rocked it — nice work on the hand-in!! “Completionist” — love that. Also “After all, It’s all content” — I think I will use this image/idea to get organized. I tend to place too much value or meaning on particular pieces of “content” so find it hard nowadays to stay on top of things. Your way of looking at it seems more “big picture” thus easier to “manage.”

    Liked by 1 person

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