Yesterday I had an interview for a PhD studentship, fully funded.
The interview went amazingly well. I was so nervous Monday night and then all day yesterday but as soon as I actually got into the room and started talking history, I was fine. The panel (of 3 plus a voice from a box in the middle of the table) asked me all about my research, my methodology, my findings, my processes, everything. I’ve never been asked to talk about my own research at length before. They had a sample piece of my writing which they also asked questions about before moving on to the specifics of the PhD studentship. After an hour and fifteen minutes, I left feeling quite confident. I had been myself, albeit a nervous, over-gesticulating version of myself but I wanted them to see me as a person and not just a history brain.
Less than an hour later they rang me.
They offered me the position.
I am completely shocked and thrilled. The woman who phoned gave me so many compliments I was quietly crying and grinning into the phone.
There’s only one problem. I’ve already agreed to do a PhD at my home university.
Now I have a major decision to make. Not just what I’ll do for the next three years but what it could mean for my future career.
PhD A which I won many months ago is on social and economic history. PhD B from yesterday is on religious history. I think that my heart is telling me to pick B. The past few months working on my Masters, I’ve found it difficult with everything else going on in my life, especially my health. But I made myself keep going and I got the work done because I loved what I was doing. I don’t know if I could be that motivated for PhD A, even though it is at a prestigious university and part of a wider project. It would give me extra opportunities I wouldn’t get with a run of the mill PhD. But I am unfamiliar with the subject. My personal collection of religious history books which I’ve built up over the last few years would be completely useless. PhD B is religious but its also through the Open Uni. I’d be the only PhD student in my country.
I’m talking myself round in circles. But I’ve tentatively accepted both and I need to make a decision sooner rather than later as either way, I’m starting a PhD in October.
What an odd dilemma to be in. I’m so happy and proud yet completely terrified of making the wrong decision and living to regret it.