After 4.5 years of toiling, hair pulling and endless working weekends, I have finally completed my PhD. Its been an epic struggle and without the support of friends and family, I would have most certainly failed. I could say a millions things about the experience but I thought it might be more useful to limit it to 5.
1. Getting a Phd is not as hard as you might think, it only needs dogged determination.
2. You must be ready to go on a mental and emotional rollercoaster. Its one heck of a ride if you survive it.
3. Accept that for 90% of the time, you will not have a clue what your PhD is about. Tip: Practise the pub questions – ‘So tell me what your PhD is about’ every few months. You’ll be astonished how different each time it will be.
4. It requires an enormous amount of self-belief – not to the point of arrogance, but you need to believe in your Phd for it to succeed.
5. And finally, don’t underestimate the support you will get from family and friends. They are the only ones to keep you sane during the whole period.