The First Mile.

Today I received my mark for my MSc dissertation – (As I have previously mentioned was on why the deeply devout lose faith).

I have been in anticipation for 25 days since I was told my first and second marker couldn’t agree on a mark! Having been notified, it was sent to a third independent adjudicator – I have had nightmares (literally, one night I actually did have a nightmare) it was going to be sent to a heathen hating vicar, who regards sociological inquest into the Godless as unnecessary.

Thankfully, it was not. I am now the proud owner of my shiny MSc with merit. Now let’s go celebrate…. in the library.

The ‘first mile at the start of the marathon’ has taught me more about what a PhD actually is than my countless googles ‘what is a PhD’. I will share my insights in later posts, but for now:

The biggest adjustment I have experienced is you are on your own. I am thankful both my supervisors are lovely and supportive (they really are). But, from the first time i entered education (age 4) until this year (age 23) I have been taught. There has been structure. You attend class, you complete the work set. There is somebody checking you have done that work. As a result, you become used to this structure, it becomes safe. It has taken me a month to really understand this.

I’ll leave you with this note: I ventured into the postgraduate/staff cafe for the first time today. I’m not sure if it’s because I have shaved my wisdom beard, but I did feel young. Having said this, don’t let being young put you off doing a PhD. Flip the situation – It’s an amazing opportunity and credit to you for being young, passionate and driven in your remarkably niche topic!

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