March 16th 2022. This is definitely one of the most significant dates of my life. It is the day I passed my PhD with minor corrections! While a lot has happened in the past four and a half years leading to this day (*cough pandemic*), I must say that the week before my viva was certainly the most stressful period of my PhD.
When the date was confirmed, I was told by my supervisor to start preparing about a week before the actual big scary viva. And yes, I really called it that. If anyone knows me, they’ll know that I’m an anxious person and that waiting two months for the viva would be unbearable. Thankfully, when the date was confirmed I was already employed, so my mind was pre-occupied. In the weeks leading up to my viva however, I could feel my stress levels slowly creeping up; I knew that I had to finish all of my projects at work before my annual leave to go “full-blast” on my viva preparation. In the evenings, I would google ‘how to prepare for PhD viva’ and search for ‘common questions asked in a PhD viva’. Although this might seem rather trivial, it did help my anxiety levels as it allowed me to plan what to expect for the viva itself. And then it came to the actual week before the “big day”.