Monday, July 27, 2015

PhD Pride

Another short post:

Following on from the previous post, I have started to think about what it is that I am proud of now that I have completed my doctorate. If you want to join in the discussion, please tweet me (@FionaEWhelan) or use the hashtag #phdproud.

My sense of pride ranges from big achievements to small accomplishments. The biggest source of pride is the simple sense of satisfaction that I actually completed it, despite some of the setbacks I had (which you can read about in previous blogposts). I know that I have contributed to new scholarship with a real value because my thesis shed light on an unknown piece of medieval literature which had largely been ignored in scholarship. However, the smaller accomplishments were also points of pride:

  1. My confidence has improved immensely. I used to be a shy person with fear and trepidation of public speaking. But through conferencing and teaching I have confidence and belief in myself as a public speaker which was sorely lacking prior to my PhD.
  2. I am proud that I can write! This sounds really silly, but to sit down and actually write 100,000 original words is something which fills me with pride and confidence for the future. I know that I could do it again (although maybe not for a little while - we all need a break!)
  3. My 'imposter syndrome' feeling has also massively reduced, now that I know that my research has been institutionally accepted as worthy of a doctorate.
  4. I am proud that I know that I can set a challenge and achieve it, while overcoming setbacks. I am proud of the way that I handled the setback of major corrections, and used it to positive ends.  
  5. I am proud that I supported myself throughout the doctorate, juggling research, teaching, and  part-time jobs.
  6. I conquered the fortress which is the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (and any scholar who has recourse to this archive, knows exactly what I mean!)
  7. I am proud of the unexpected things that I have done concurrent to my PhD, such as organising my college ball, acting as a Junior Dean who provides pastoral care to study abroad students; to teaching on summer school programs - all of which I could not have done had I not been completing my doctorate.
For all these reasons and more, I proudly use the title 'Dr' and will not let anyone try and lesson the importance, value and pride which I feel!

Please add your points of pride below in the comments or on Twitter, and I will happily compile them into the next blogpost!


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