And so, the last leg of my PhD experiences came down to this:
Thesis correction list received from external examiners- read. Thesis edited as per corrections listed – done. Corrections sent to external examiners for approval – yes. Corrections approved by external examiners – yes. Final check of thesis for other typos etc. – done. Final version of thesis – submitted (online). Thesis received by university administration – approved.
And that was that!
Throughout my PhD I thought the final thesis submission would be this big deal. Like some fireworks or trumpets or, I don’t know, some kind of “TA DA!” sort of moment.
In reality, it felt more like a quiet sense of relief. I think the run up to the viva and the aftermath that followed was certainly the most memorable point of my (UK-based) PhD experience. Everything that came afterwards had this sort of bureaucratic feel to it. I suppose emotionally I was less involved, so when I pressed “submit” for the last time, I felt very calm, almost detached. It wasn’t a negative feeling or an overly positive one either. Maybe once I print out the hard copy of my thesis this will all feel more “real” but for now, I’m glad this part of my PhD experience is over.
I had my viva several weeks ago but since then it’s been full steam ahead! I was so focussed on preparing for my viva that I put off preparing for my lectures until the weekend before teaching started. Basically, I’ve been on catch up mode ever since!
This post is a short one on my experiences completing thesis corrections. In the UK PhDs have different categories based on the number/type of corrections requested by the examiners. The time allocated to carry out the corrections is calculated by the examiners according to how much they think you can do in a certain amount of time. It’s not an exact science so there’s a range of interpretations.
I was given four weeks to complete my corrections. What I found out was that four weeks did NOT mean that I had a full four weeks to work on my corrections. In actual fact I had three weeks, with one week for the external examiners to read and approve my corrections, then send it back so that I can submit the final version of my thesis.
You’d think this would be a huge motivator to get my corrections done asap, but the fact was that I left the bulk of the work to do during the third week. I can’t really pin point why. I could say I was busy with other responsibilities, but I think after my viva I was feeling tired. Like deep-down tired. So I took a week off. Did nothing thesis related. Week two I started on the more straightforward corrections: fix these typos, check this reference, change this word etc.
My third and final week was when the panic settled in, and I went in hard, completing the main bulk of my corrections. I finally submitted the revised version of my thesis to my examiners by 5pm on the day they were due. I know it wasn’t the best use of my time, but strangely don’t feel guilty about putting off doing the work. Anyhow, I should hear the outcome from my examiners sometime next week so, fingers crossed, it’ll be enough.