I graduated on 22 January 2016, and am officially Dr Ro Smith, a doctor of philosophy in philosophy, passed with no corrections.
Apologies for not posting about it at the time, I didn’t have any photos myself and only just got some through!
I hope everyone is appreciating my sparkley graduation shoes. And the silliest bonnet. I wanted to keep the silliest bonnet.
If you donated to this blog or to my Go Fund Me last year when I was in need, you helped this happen, and I am incredibly grateful to you. I would not have made it without you.
There was a long time – a very long time – when I really stopped believing that I would get here. I had been so ill and poor and depressed for so long. I’m still not physically 100%, and mentally… well, that’s a process, and a long one, which isn’t entirely about the PhD.
Neverthless, I’m really proud, and grateful. I did it. I was capable of doing it, after all. And I did it well. There were a tiny number of typos. That was it. The examiners said in the end that they would accept it anyway. Typos and all. (I did correct the most glaring typos, though – the photos at the top of my blog are not a lie, I really have had green hair, and red hair, and many other colour hair.)
And so many members of my family came up for me. My dad came from Australia, my mum, two sets of aunts and uncles, my step-dad.
I wish I had been thinner. I wish I had had suitable smart clothes to wear that I could still fit into (the dress I am wearing was more low-cut than I would have liked and didn’t exactly have a graceful fit). I wish my hair looked better – I had fried it in my attempts to go back to blonde for graduation. Maybe one day when I’m better off and thinner I will rent the gowns again and get it professionally done. Still, it’s great to have done it at all.
It is very strange to have it done. I’m still temping at the moment. I need to publish before applying for academic jobs and I’m… honestly not read to leave my city, yet. And most well-paying jobs I am qualified for would involve that, even if they weren’t in academia.
I’m tired, and I’m still ill a lot. And I want to get serious about my writing. I want a first draft of a novel this year.
I also want to relax. I’m getting back down the allotment (you might have noticed). Which is something I was really sad to not be able to give enough time to the last few years. I always promised myself ‘When the PhD is done…’. And it’s important in terms of exercise. I was down there for four hours today. It’s hard to get such good, prolonged exercise doing anything else.
I want to paint and not feel guilty about it. I want to choose craft projects for reasons other than ‘It will be quick’ and ‘I can give it to someone else as a present because that is the only way I can afford presents’.
I’ve bought material and a pattern for an ambitious Daenerys cosplay this year. Still a lot of work in getting that done, though.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the things I want to do, but I’m trying not to do that. Trying to unlearn my habits of continuous anxiety and guilt.
But hey, I’m a ‘Dr’ now, and that’s something. Some kind of validation of my existence and ability and intelligence. Not the only way such things can be validated, of course, but… something I needed to do, for me. Yes, I had something to prove to myself, and to the world. And maybe that’s not terribly healthy, but I needed to do it.
It’s strange and surprising to find that I have done it after all.