Why is this under happiness and not ranting? Because I passed.
Graduate programs can vary a lot, but generally for a PhD, there is some sort of qualifying benchmark before you do a dissertation project. In my case, I have two related exams. The first are written. I had to answer 3 questions in 3 days, with 10 pages for each essay. Grueling? Yes. Impossible to answer fully? Yes. Do you read over them two weeks later and cringe over some of the obvious errors? Yes. So, after writing them, I was both impressed with how much I knew, and humbled by how much I couldn't say.
Today, I had my oral component. It consists of up to two hours of fielding questions about my field, my interests, and the like. I came into it with an anxious eagerness taped together with some veneer of calmness. According to other people, I should've been falling apart left and right, but I think I restricted the falling apart to Minecraft binges over the last few weeks. My voice, affected by allergies, managed to hold for the exam. I fielded many questions, sometimes with relative grace, sometimes fumbling for the right words, but I always had some answer, even if it wasn't great. That, thankfully, was enough. My committee members congratulated me, I decompressed with a few of my friends, and now I'm in a coffee shop making extremely unhealthy choices.
But I passed! I can write a dissertation! I won't be tossed out prematurely. My higher-ups are now, in some measure, my peers! My year of effort was not for nothing. I feel like I could eat an eclair and drink hot chocolate at the same time! Wait - I think I just did. OM NOM.