How to celebrate submitting your Thesis


Enjoying drinks with friends

So the thesis is finally submitted! You feel relived its finally done so now its time to celebrate!

But submitting your thesis can be an odd occasion to know how to celebrate.

Common issues that can get in the way of celebrating are:

  • You are too tired to properly celebrate.
  • Your PhD friends are still writing up so are not available to celebrate with you.
  • You feel like you are not officially done as you are still waiting for the viva date and result and the official point at which you become a doctor.
  • After months of focused work you feel at a loss at what to do now you actually have the choice.
  • You feel uncertain about the future as the PhD has ended and there is a new start ahead, which can be exciting and scary.
  • The process of producing the thesis was such a arduous task that its tough to come up with a big enough celebration to compensate for the months of work.


Advice on how to celebrate:

  • Don’t hold back on celebrating NOW, many people find that the hand in feels more like the end of their PhD than the viva.
  • Do whatever you feel like doing do not get pressured into anything due to the expectations of others.
  • Don’t put pressure on yourself to do all your celebrating on the day you hand in, the celebrations can be spread across the following week (possibly even the following month).
  • Do something to help relax you into your new hopefully calmer life. I really recommend a massage.
  • Contact friends and family to organise dates to meet up and toast your achievement.
  • With friends that are still writing organise a future date when you are all finished to celebrate together.
  • Possibly treat yourself to a little shopping spree or buy something to mark the occasion.
  • Go to your favourite restaurant or bar.
  • Go to a ‘newly’ opened (while you were too busy writing) restaurant or bar.
  • Spend time with friends and catch up.
  • Consider a change of scene, be this a foreign holiday or just a trip home or to visit friends for a weekend.
  • Let yourself rest, have at least a week of not thinking about what the future holds or what jobs you need to apply for, just try and relax in the moment and recuperate.

Personally, I was initially ecstatic when I handed in my Thesis but had no idea what I wanted to do first.

In the end I ate, drank, got a  massage, slept, went to the pub, had my friends over for the weekend, saw my mum, then started getting ready for a cheap break to Spain to get some last minute sun!

Hope everyone has a great time celebrating, I would love to hear what you did to mark the moment, I bet there are some really novel celebrations that I would never think of.



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