I’ve just passed my Preliminary Exam. It’s a preliminary defense of my thesis where I showed what I have done and what I plan to do, and the thesis committee provides their feedback.
I’m at very good place in my PhD right now. After two and a half years into the program, I’ve finished all the coursework requirements (with 8 As and a B), completed my teaching assistantship (and received an Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from my pillar), completed two summer projects (one of which eventually became a paper one and a half years later), attended two conferences (and met amazing people), published one paper in Water Resources Research, reviewed 5 papers, and passed both Qualifying and Preliminary Exams. With all the other requirements done, I am now ready to go full steam on research. Depending on how the results are going to pan out, I have between three and six papers in the pipeline. That’s amazing. That’s so exciting. I can’t finish them all within my PhD of course, but I have enough ideas to keep going for a while even after my PhD.
I think doing a PhD is one of the two best decisions I’ve made in my life (the other one was to propose to my wife).
Keep calm and do research. Full steam on.