My main tip for the end of the PhD
Coming to the end of a PhD is an odd feeling. It is a time that you daydream about for years. All of your years of hard work work towards the PhD submission. It is exciting but also utterly terrifying. Often the submission date continually changes, and continually gets pushed back until one day the date is ‘set in stone’. It is odd to go from a date that seems as though it is a fantasy to an actual cold hard date. For me the hardest part of the last month or so before submission was wondering if my PhD was good enough. Did I deserve to submit my PhD? Do I actually know what I am talking about? Imposter Syndrome was as prevalent as ever. It was a constant battle between just wanting to get it done and not wanting to rush the end. This was extremely exhausting, but in the end I settled on a plan that I felt content with.
I realised that I was continuing to edit and read my thesis trying to preempt what my thesis examiners will want. It got to the point where I figured out that I had two options. Option one is that I could keep guessing what they examiners will comment on for months and never actually know. The other option was to be proud of the thesis I have worked on for almost four years, submit it, and actually get the examiner comments. That way I have tangible edits to work towards. I told myself that even if the comments were major, I would be able to make the required changes, and that this is better than continuing to guess.
Perhaps the hardest part of finishing a PhD is letting it go… and for me this thought process really helped.