Throughout my PhD so many people have been helpful – many of these are people within the uni who worked hard to make things happen, but others were the long suffering friends and family who perhaps have received only minimal ‘thank you’s. So I thought I would take this opportunity to highlight a few people who have been truly fabulous and deserve more than just an ‘acknowledgement’.

First, my mum and Emma, who provided me with support at home. My mum has supported me throughout my studies even though she perhaps hasn’t really understood exactly what I’m doing. She has now, managed to get to grips with the fact that most recently I was doing a PhD and not a Masters. Emma provided great support particularly in terms of providing lifts, once even driving for over an hour so I could find one page number for an article.

Second, the support I got from people in Southampton, Charlotte, Becky, Eva, Maya, Holly and Isaac who provided emotional support, company, and fun. I particularly want to mention Holly who although I only knew for the final year of the whole process was amazing at providing exactly what was needed when I needed/wanted it – whether it was drinks, food, a friendly ear or someone to bitch to.

One of the things they tell you about a PhD is how lonely it can be, but my experience is that although the writing can be lonely, the whole experience is made by supportive friends and family.