Woah, we’re half way there…..

I am in the first week of my third year of my PhD. This means I have completed half of my PhD and have half left to go. There are 3 other PhD students in my office in exactly the same boat. We have jointly agreed that our current anthem to support this period in our lives is:
Woah, we’re half way there
Woah, livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear
Woah, livin’ on a prayer…
Yes, Bon Jovi. I dare you to not hum this song all day, or at least for part of the day.
On a serious note. I really am half way through my PhD. I had to check recently, my supervisor asked me to double check too,  I feel like I have only just started my second year how can I possibly be in the third year. I feel slightly scared- only two years left to collect ALL my actual data (the last 2 years have been leading up to the start of my pilot study which I have only just started really ahhhhhh).
So in a panic I tried to find my Gantt chart. That good old Gantt chart that I created when I submitted my funding application to the NIHR, that I updated recently at my upgrade viva. Those 3 pages of Gantt chart seemed like a huge volume of things to do. The huge amount of training- tick. The overseas observations- tick. The PPI- tick. The first conference- tick. The first (tick), second (tick) stages (full of lots and lots of individual jobs) of developing my complex intervention to lead into the third stage (the pilot – which is where I am at now). The ‘starting on my thesis’- maybe not so ticky as the rest. The starting to work on publications – again ‘ticky’. But yes, it is on track, it’s coming along. Woah.
Now there have been so many people holding my hand, helping me learn what to do. My awesome supervisors- well I must say I am rather clutching onto my primary supervisors hand (still). I am clutching on so she can’t let go. I sound desperate as i write that. But really she is amazing. I can’t count the huge amount I have learnt from her, and the energy she has given me. And I feel just terrible that I can’t seem to absorb any proper grammatical rules or spelling (I was born in the 80s- well that is my excuse) but I know she’ll be there for the big and the small. My mentors and their unwavering enthusiasm keeps my head above water at all times. They are the ones who think of thinks outside of the box I have got myself into, they are much more objective and it is amazingly useful. My supergroup of PhD pals are another amazing source of support. They tolerate my blank looks when discussing statistics and try to help me when I forget how to print a page or format a document (they sigh and pat me on the head- poor woman to have been born back in the 80s).
But perhaps I am also feeling rather pleased. I have survived the first half of my PhD. I feel quite at home in my role. I went to a seminar in our department yesterday and I looked around the room and I thought two things: 1) I know lost of people in this room and they are all pretty cool, 2) I could stay here for a bit longer. Perhaps I would like to have a research career beyond my PhD. Perhaps I should start thinking about that and planning that. Perhaps I should look at the NIHR fellowship pathways again and just have a peek at what I might have to do next. Perhaps I should speak to my supervisor about how i continue along this path. Perhaps I could work a little bit clinically (because I actually do love doing speech and language therapy with people with PPA) and perhaps I could work a little bit academically (more research I must be losing it). Clinical researcher. It has rather a nice ring to it though.

2 thoughts on “Woah, we’re half way there…..

  1. I was singing that song all day yesterday (my daughter has just learnt it on the glockenspiel). Now I’ll be singing it again today! Apt for me too, though, as I am halfway through my MRes. Your blog is really inspiring, Anna. Looks like you could be keeping it up for some time?!


    1. Thanks for your comment- I am a bit slow in replying (sorry!) Thank you for reading the blog – i do enjoy writing it (it is rather cleansing). Bon Jovi is just generally uplifting for the soul- glad your daughter is learning the classic rock approach 🙂


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