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Writers’ Lab: The final months of the dissertation

The final months of a PhD are incredibly messy,” says James Clewett – and I couldn’t agree more.
Unless you are doing your PhD in your home country and will roll into a faculty position naturally at your institution (there are rumors some people still get that opportunity), you will be searching for a job, moving out of your place, boxing up your stuff again and arranging long-distance moving.

I wasn’t quite expecting it all to be so messy, but in between getting the thesis to the printer, filling out HR forms for my next job, attending 7 conferences to show the world the results of my research, finding babysits for my cat, ending all insurance and utilities contracts I had in the Netherlands and buying plane tickets, I reached a moment where I felt massive overwhelm.

The only piece of advice that I have to offer you, and what saved my sanity through this, is to just keep your head clear, plan realistically, allow enough time for sleep and recovery and just try to do your best without straining yourself out of bounds.

If you need to move away after your PhD and find another job, just be prepared for a messy period of time. It seems to be part of the rite of passage.

You can watch the interview with James Clewett below – I’m so grateful he spoke up about the messiness of the final months of the dissertation.

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