Graduation Day…

As you can see from the picture of my lovely family above, I finally got to pick up my PhD at graduation on Friday – 11 months after submission, 9 months after passing my viva, and 6 months since receiving confirmation of the award. Many of you have already read my Top 10 PhD Survival Tips, but here I thought that I would outline what the event, and the PhD mean to me now that it is all over.

Closure – Whilst I officially became Dr Hope in January following confirmation from my graduate school board and receipt of my certificate, graduation was like closure for me. I joked to others that I was attending to make sure that they were not joking, and that they really had awarded me the degree. Well I am glad to say that I hadn’t dreamt it all, and that the Chancellor did not shout ‘Impostor!’ and throw me off the stage.

Validation – Attending graduation felt like I was gaining the respect of my peers – both other graduating students, and university staff. Although in most respects I know I already have this (I have been working as a Lecturer in at my university for nearly 18 months now), it was nice to receive their applause and kind words afterwords. I also hope it means that when the next semester teaching begins in September I will feel a little less of an impostor standing in front of students.

Celebration – Of course I have already celebrated the completion of my Thesis in my own way, but graduation presented a chance for my friends, family and supervisors to come together and celebrate the event. A few beers were had, a few tears shed and lots of photos of my in my silly gown and hat were taken. It was a great day…

New Beginnings – Whilst I had already moved on from graduate study and have many other projects which I am currently working on, to some degree the graduation ceremony represented the end of an era – the end of nearly 8 years of being a student (OK, so I have a teaching qualification to complete, but that feels more like CPD). I can now plan for a future as a professional academic and be excited for the challenges ahead.

A Chance to say Thanks! – I have already thanked those closest to me for putting up with the last four or so years, but to re-iterate…Heart felt thanks and love goes out to all those who supported my on my journey – in particular my partner and our two children who have suffered the mood swings, late night writing marathons, cancelled day-trips and probably a lot of moaning with patience and good grace….my parents for their support, my supervisors Dr Geoff O’Brien and Professor Phil O’Keefe for their guidance, and my colleagues past and present for their encouragement.

Finally – As I wrote In the acknowledgments section of my Thesis…

Time now for some fun….

Have you graduated recently? Why not set out what the event meant to you in the comments section below…

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6 thoughts on “Graduation Day…

  1. Congratulations! My graduation is actually tomorrow – I’m looking forward to celebrating together with my friends who went through the process at the same time. I’m also looking forward to getting closure and moving on to new things.

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