Rejection hurts and failures are difficult to get over. As a PhD candidate, chances are, you have experienced rejection and failure at some point along your doctoral journey. Caitlin Kirby from Michigan State University wore her rejections from over the last 4 years as a badge of honor. Kirby walked into her oral dissertation defense with a knee-length skirt comprised of 17 of the most stinging rejection letters from other doctoral programs, grants, and journals.
The 5 professors that made up her defense committee found her approach to her failures refreshing and humorous, while Kirby described the process of digging up the rejection letters and putting the skirt together as cathartic and therapeutic. How will you feel about your rejections on your defense day? Failure is necessary for growth and some can even use rejection as a motivator. As a society, many of us have become so used to instant gratification and persevering through a grueling processes such as getting your PhD can, at times, seem impossible. Nothing worthwhile comes easy and, by this point you’ve already overcome the rejection letters, so we are here to motivate you, and help you continue to persevere towards your goal of completing your dissertation.
Ultimately, going for your dreams of becoming a PhD gives you the opportunity to face your fears and see how strongly you persevere. Throughout the dissertation process, there will be a lot of rejections and it takes guts and confidence to carry on. Having a dedicated team of dissertation professionals keeps the pressure from being completely on your shoulders, so if you’ve been struggling, reach out and learn about the resources available to you. What have been some of the toughest rejections you’ve experienced on your dissertation journey thus far?
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