A PhD update: 3 months to go

It only seems like yesterday that I got home from my PhD interview. A two and a half hour drive back to literally walk through the door and my phone starts ringing. A phone call from my now PhD supervisor offering my my PhD position. Now – I only have three months left before I have to submit my complete PhD thesis. Three months! So, it’s time for me to check in with you guys again to share what the last three months have been like and what these next and final three months. Yikes!

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How am I feeling?

Honestly – I am absolutely exhausted. I haven’t been looking after myself too well in the last few months. I’ve been working long hours most days of the week to make sure I got everything wrapped up in time which has also meant that I haven’t been eating well or sleeping well. But I am relieved that stage is now over and I can get back into a normal routine head back to the gym and start eating better. Relieved that I can have my evenings and weekends back and think about exploring different places. But what about the PhD? Well, I’m actually excited for a change of pace and to start writing my thesis. I’m excited to piece nearly four years worth of data and experiments together and see what the hell it all means. So, I am so ready to sit down at my laptop and start tap, tap tapping away. Might not be saying that in a few weeks time though… let’s see! But right now – I’m excited! I’m excited to wrap this whole PhD up and start the next chapter.

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What have I been up to?

Well, quite simply…. I’VE FINISHED IN THE LAB! All the experiments to wrap up the overall story of my pluripotent stem cell research and cancer stem cell research for my thesis are done! Fin! Finito!

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The epigenetics research project in my pluripotent stem cells that I started as a final avenue has actually given me some really exciting and intriguing data that I wanted to carry on exploring – but obviously time is not on my side. So, I might be doing a few more experiments for that one to get a small publication out of that – not that my other one has been accepted yet. Still keeping my fingers crossed for that one!

As for my cancer stem cell research – my first draft of my publication is almost done. But this one is going to need a few more experiments for that – will have to fit that in at some point.

But whilst doing the finishing touches in the lab, I’ve also been keeping my thesis up to date. As I shared in my last update, I’ve been trying to build my thesis as I go so I’m not starting completely from scratch with a blank page now. But I am still on course – 385 pages and 72,569 words down!

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Aims for the next 3 months

Just like my last update, this one is simple! Write my thesis and submit it! Wow – that’s scary and exciting!

Aside from a couple of additional things I might need to do for publications and writing those, I have 12 weeks to write my PhD thesis. Well – in fact it is probably more like 8 weeks now as my supervisor announced to me last week that they are going on holiday for basically the whole of September :/ so that’s a little worrying but for now I’m trying to not panic!

But there are a few things I’m worrying about. I feel quite prepared and on top of my thesis now but I’m super awful at procrastinating when at home. So, I’m worried that I am going to struggle to find a good place to focus and write! I just can’t concentrate in the office in normal working hours and I associate being home with relaxing and time to chill out. So, I need to work out where is going to be the best place for me. And more on that, I’m a little worried about not being able to focus or procrastinating and then not actually making any progress and falling behind, so need to set myself some small goals and ways to keep to that too. Oh yeah! And just one more thing – I have to find a job amongst all this too! But I am excited to experience this part of the PhD journey and of course share it and any tips I learn with all of you!

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Are you in your final year of PhD? Or maybe you’ve finished, or even graduated, and you have some wisdom to share for that final push? Or have you just finished writing your thesis? What worked for you? Share any tips or resources in the comments below so we can all learn and benefit.

Science love.

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