PhDone – The Hand In

I had originally planned on writing this as soon as I had handed in my thesis…. but, time got away from me and I was busy enjoying my freedom. Then came the crippling reality that I had not left enough time to prep for my viva (in my mind anyway) and I began mass cramming. Once again, blog writing was pushed to one side for the greater good.


Such a thing of beauty


Our story begins just prior to handing in my thesis. The long hard slog that was October – April was difficult. A lot of people warned me about it being hard, I cannot admit that I loved every moment and it was extremely difficult; but there were moments of revelation and I certainly enjoyed some of the process.

I have learnt a lot about my own writing style as well as work ethic. I was particularly worried that I would never kick into gear, but when the fear arrives it becomes hard to switch your brain off at times. Which can be helpful when you need a bit of time to mull something over in the shower… however when your every waking moment is about your thesis you do turn slightly mad. Cue this Queen song playing in my head over and over…


Likely face when asked “Why haven’t you handed in yet?”


Plan A was to hand in on March 31st, because we had assumed that was my deadline. However, complications arose with my supervisor having to balance my thesis feedback, full-time dipper fieldwork and life (still not sure how he managed everything); so when we found out my deadline was actually September, we decided a few extra weeks to get everything polished would be a good idea.

Those last three weeks where the hardest, when you have spent so long looking at something you just go blind to mistakes. It was getting harder and harder to reread anything because it all started to look FINE to me. Although it was annoying at times, I completely value the opinion of my supervisor and the last minute changes he asked me to make were on reflection, invaluable. What I will say, is if you are using R , a tidy worksheet is a useful worksheet. I am so glad that I kept all my analyses clear and labelled and all it took were a few tiny modifications and I was ready to go again, well done past Lucy.

On April 21st I went into the office in the morning after a couple of hours sleep, I had a few amendments left to do from my supervisor, some formatting and a cover page to create. Luckily, I had done my acknowledgements page in my tear fuelled delirious state the night before, to save the office from any extra unnecessary crazy.


Apologies to the rainforest… but it had to be double spaced and one sided.


Deciding to press print was very strange, a moment in time where I had to decide whether I was going to draw a line under three and a half years of work, or give it a little more time (it was Friday and the binders was closing till the following Tuesday). But I had given it everything I could and I don’t think a couple more days would have made any difference.

Printed, I took it to the binders and an hour later I had my baby ready to deliver to the ladies at the Base. They displayed the appropriate amount of pride and celebration for people I had never met before, it must be a nice job collecting completed theses from half dead postgrads.


Nervously carrying my baby to the Base


Because I had no idea when the whole ordeal was going to be over having pushed it back three weeks on the trot, and  #TeamBird are all away on fieldwork, I had no plans for that weekend. Big shout out to my main gal Ashleigh, for stepping up and making herself available for last minute subdued celebrations of Chinese and champagne. Don’t know what I’d do without you!


One well deserved bottle of Champagne.


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