It may not feel like it sometimes, but one day you’ll be done with your PhD and it will all be worth it.
All the hard work, the uncertainty, the perseverance, the never quite knowing. It’ll all come to fruition and you’ll look back on it all in years to come with a sense of wonder and awe.
This is true regardless of whether you complete your PhD or whether you decide to leave it in pursuit of other endeavours. All we can do in life is try our best and do so with the best intentions and best information we have available at the time.
If we do that, then whatever happens in weeks, months and years to come is the natural course of things, and you can look back at your former self and think: “I tried my best”. With that attitude, everything will be worth it because you’ll end up exactly where you need to be.
Failure is a horrible word, and comes in varying degrees. We may succeed in our PhDs, but we may fail to do so in the way we had hoped. We may fail our PhDs entirely. We may fail to live up to any number of the expectations and demands we place upon ourselves, even when we are, to outsiders, very much succeeding.
But whatever your failure remember that it is often through defeat that the greatest accomplishment stems. It’s when you’re tested and when you’re forced to retreat that the real magic happens, even if it may not feel like it at the time.
Good luck and have a great weekend.