The choice has been made, the funding sorted, the paperwork signed. I will be starting my PhD project in mid-September, with fieldwork in the Land Down Under before the end of the year. I'm excited and apprehensive and very aware that the real stress and seriousness of this choice will probably hit me closer to the time.
The topic is very interesting, the department, group and supervisors are meant to be great (and really did seem so from the little interaction I had with them - good sign!), the fieldwork in Oz is an amazing bonus. The city itself is also a great place to live, although I will probably complain about the darkness and rain (the cost of living up north). I was trying to be careful when applying, trying to only apply for places I really thought I could fit in. But until you get a chance to talk to those people and to have a look around you can't really get a real feel for it. Of course a couple of conversations and a visit are not the same as a few years of actual work that the project requires, but one can only try their best while collecting the intel. Pull some strings, keep your eyes and ears open, ask questions. Be prepared.
I will have a lot of independence with a supervisor who is very hands-off (or so I'm told), but that also means a lot of responsibility. I don't like people looking over my shoulder and I don't need spoon-feeding, so fingers crossed that I can manage to truly be in charge of my own learning and development, of my own research. At the end of the day, I think this is what it is about. It's time to fledge.
Some wing stretching and exercise might be necessary first though.