Has anyone ever felt that or know what I’m talking about? Maybe one needs to have been studying for a while. I am talking about the period, usually about a week or so, right after an examination and right after a major cramming session which has suddenly been replaced by somewhat of a void.

Questions that appear are: Now what? All that work, and for what?

It takes a while to develop a new direction.

There is another examination related feeling. Lets assume that there are two exams and one depends on the other; you can’t start preparing for number two until number one is fully completed. There’s a similar feeling to the “examination anticlimax” during the time, say for a written exam, between the exam itself and getting the grade. You’d like to get started, but you just have to wait.

Of course these problems come about only when the exam or a similar defining event is seen as the end point — the beginning of the end rather than the end of the beginning to use Churchill’s words.

My PhD examination was a non-event. It was practically another seminar—at that point I had already done several. The reason was that it was merely the end of the beginning. Conversely, many other exams [taken just for credits] left a mental malaise.

The difference between the two outlooks is that one is goal oriented and the other is process oriented. If you are process oriented, starts and beginnings do not exist. I wonder if this problem is only experience by goal oriented types (or those who think they are)?

Originally posted 2010-07-30 09:32:06.