Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ph.D nerves

Oh - I am really anxious. The relief I felt a week ago after turning in my dissertation to my committee has lifted and the stress of facing my defense has descended upon me.

I woke up this morning and my heart was racing. That is never a good sign. I am usually quite comfortable with stress - It makes me feel alive. But this stress feels different. I feel it in my shoulders and back and every once in a while it feels like my heart plunges to my feet and shoots back up - kinda like that feeling you get on a roller coaster.

I hate roller coasters.

The reality of the last five years of my life being put to the test during one sitting with my committee - who by the way are made up of brilliant young faculty - is almost too much for me to comprehend. When I turned in my paper I thought it was really good. As the days wear on... I'm not so sure.

Maybe it isn't all that good? Maybe I think I'm smart, but I'm not really that smart? Am I a fraud? And worse, if I am a fraud, what if they find out - even worse - what if they tell me!

I have a half-hour to make a public presentation - and I have invited every friendly face I know. My husband and children will be there, my friends, my parents...

Ooo.. maybe I shouldn't have invited them? My dad may not smile. Oh - I'll tell him he has to smile the whole time. That'll work.

I did make one really good decision though in all this. I scheduled my defense in the Alumni Center.

Which so happens to be just a parking lot away from a bar.


  1. Sounds like a good plan to me. The bar that is.

    You'll do well Najla. You will.

  2. Young lady, that is an excellent plan ... including the distance to the Turf.

  3. Oh man! I wish I could be there (the defense and the bar)! I remember attending a defense with you and our class just a few short years ago. You can do it!