Your PhD is going to be rough around the edges. There will even be bits of it that are a bit crap. And that’s okay. ⁣

I look back at my own PhD today, years later, and there are entire chapters that I still gasp at (‘how did that ever get through my viva?’)⁣

My point here is not to make you feel stupid, or to downplay your intelligence (You don’t need me to tell you’re how smart and capable you are).⁣

No, my aim is to silence that perfectionist that lives inside your head. I want to remind you that it’s okay to be imperfect, and it’s okay to aim and settle for 90% instead of constantly aiming for (and failing to achieve) 100%. ⁣

No one gets it right all of the time, and your examiner isn’t expecting you to either. ⁣

Don’t get complacent, of course, but at the same time be realistic about your own expertise and skills: you’re not a professor and you’re not aiming for a Nobel Prize. ⁣

You’re an early career researcher and your job is to show your examiner you have what it takes, not that you’ve mastered your art. ⁣

Good luck! 

 
 

Hello, Doctor…

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