Recently, I reached an important milestone. Nine months to go in my PhD scholarship.
Naturally, I’ve taken to calling it my “thesis baby”.
I’m not naive to the fact that it’s just an old reframing trick, adapted from psychology lectures in my hazy undergraduate past, and rehashed for my postgraduate needs. But here’s the way I see it: if we can literally create human life in 9 months, then writing a thesis and finishing my PhD in that same timespan is absolutely doable!
In my third (and hopefully final) year, I find myself reflecting on how far I’ve come, while trying to keep a level head about the work that’s still ahead of me. I have to admit that I am battling an old foe again, the foe who likes to rear his head as any major project comes to a close.
A few years ago, I decided that my best path forward was to passionately practice wide curiosity. With my capacity to be wander down rabbit holes, it’s little wonder that I can be prone to the “ooh, shiny!” kind of distraction when interesting opportunities present themselves.
But with this thesis baby well on the way, we are definitely reaching the business end of proceedings. The last 2.5 years have been afforded me the luxury of time to think, to tinker, to experiment, to analyse, to interpret. I have also indulged long-standing passions, discovered new interests, and allowed myself many happy diversions in order to find relief from the PhD grind. But now it is time to tell the story of these last few years of work.
Somehow, I am not so concerned about the academic task of writing a thesis (though it is a mammoth task).
My biggest concern is making sure that my thesis does justice to all the people who have contributed to my PhD experience. Because all in all, it’s been damn fun*.
* I reserve the right to change my mind about how “fun” it is to do a PhD, particularly once I have endured the birth of my thesis baby.