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How to survive your Dissertation…

A Picture of Millie

Think about it, your entire university degree leads up to your dissertation hand in – 10,000(ish) words standing in between you and your cheesy family Graduation photo… so I guess you could argue it’s pretty darn important. In exactly two weeks time, I will be in the school office (shaking like a leaf most likely) handing in my dissertation. Now, more than ever, I understand that writing your dissertation is likely to be one of the hardest, most time-consuming, most argghhhh tasks that any student will have to undertake – however, (somehow) I’ve got through it all – and so will you! If you are currently writing yours, or will need to write one soon, just remember that you are not alone! Here are some tips to help you through the tough times…

Don’t Panic

Easier said than done I know, but inevitably you will freak out from time to time. Yesterday morning, on a scale of 1 – Amanda Bynes, I would say my meltdown would have made Amanda proud. I was ready to scrap my entire dissertation and just give up. BUT, just remember that panic is only temporary – breathe, take a break, and you will be laughing about it all later.

Your dissertation will take over your life – but this will pass!

It may seem all work and no play, but one day, your dissertation will be handed in and out of your control! There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and picturing yourself celebrating at the end of it is a great motivational tool.

You can’t know everything – and don’t expect that you will.

Right now, I know an awful lot about my dissertation topic, but there is no way I know everything. But that’s ok, I’m not an expert. You just need to be willing to accept that you are not familiar with everything, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Make the most of your mentor

They are assigned to you for a reason! It’s easy to feel a little disheartened when they can’t tell you what you want to hear, but they do have pearls of wisdom! Honestly bombard them however you can, they are there to help at the end of the day.

Take regular breaks – to the kettle…

Caffeine will be your new best friend. It’s good to take a break away from the computer and give your eyes and brain a rest – so use tea/coffee making to a) keep you awake, and b) purely for procrastination purposes…

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