Happy submission day everyone! After some time in the grad school business, it seems to me that the academic work-flow is governed by submissions even more than anything I experienced before. As a graduate student you are expected to submit applications, proposals, abstracts, articles, posters, presentations, and a lot more things. The days on which such documents are due are very special days: Submission days.
Usually, submission days are preceded by uncountable hours of hard work, leading to the corresponding results and their preparation for submission. For example the research activities leading to a journal article. You have structured your ideas, designed the corresponding experiments, developed a theory or a simulation code, and finally gathered and interpreted results. Usually you had to overcome several severe setbacks and throw away a significant amount of incorrect results. You had to question your theory and results all over again and look at them from different viewpoints. You conducted a significant amount of validations to make sure your results are correct. You were able to tackle the seemingly immense complexity of your research and ideally the abstract results led to consistent conclusions. After writing up your thoughts you went through a process of correction loops with you coauthors and supervisors. Your work-flow peaks in finishing a paper and polishing it for submission. When you finally submit it you are convinced that it is the best piece of work you have ever written and yet you will do everything to make sure the next one will be even better. You have finished a big chunk of work and hold the final result in your hands. As opposed to the process leading to the results and the correct conclusions, the final document is something very concrete. Holding the final document in your hands is like a reward and it’s a very special feeling; a mixture of happiness, pride, relief, maybe even surprise. Every submission is different, depending on how the work leading to the submission did go. However, with the submission, the project is finally off your desk and you are ready to dedicate yourself to the next big task. That’s why submission days are so special. They are the really good days in the academic life. Submission days are milestones and mark the transitions between different tasks and projects. They are indicators of the forthcoming and advancement of your research. However, submission days are usually succeeded by more special days for example revision day, acceptance day, rejection day, and so on. I will keep you updated on how these days will go.