January 30, 2019, by Lucy

10 Things You Know if You’re Writing a Dissertation

If you’re reading at this right now, I assume that you are in the midst of reading 10000000s of books, taking too many notes and struggling to fathom where to even start on your dissertation. As your dissertation deadline creeps closer, you may as well spend your time procrastinating and reading this post because, at the end of the day, it’s quite useful to realise that you’re not alone in this plight. After, of course, you should probably get back to writing your diss.

Life Doesn’t Stop for a Dissertation

Although a dissertation is one of, if not the, most important thing(s) in the academic life of an undergraduate, life does not stop because you have a dissertation to write. Indeed, you will have other essays to write, exams to revise for and let’s not forget about the real world: I mean, you have to apply for jobs, grad schemes, postgraduate study, you name it… you’re plate is full.

That Feeling When Someone Takes a Library Book You Need

Apparently, the world doesn’t revolve around you, nor does it realise how important your diss is? Shocked, appalled and disgusted doesn’t even begin to cover it. Forget rogue housemates stealing the last of your milk or jumping in the bathroom right before you were going to have a shower, having a library book request is the most profane act to occur in third year.

Anything Will Become a Means of Procrastinating

When you suddenly have 10,000 words to write, even going anywhere near a keyboard becomes a chore. Despite being fully aware that you need to submit your diss, you will put it off for as long as possible simply because you can. Whether you randomly decide that you want to spend six hours cooking a roast dinner with all the trimmings, want to do a spring clean every weekend or just simply want to watch all of Black Mirror for the 5th time, the measures you turn to in order to put of diss writing will be phenomenal.

You’ll Make a Schedule to Feel Organised, Only to Ignore it for the Duration of the Writing Process

Making a timetable seems productive at the time, until you realise that you have never stuck to a timetable in all of your academic career thus far. Instead, this productivity is superficial in so far as it is a way of appearing to do something useful, although it will not benefit you in any way as four months down the line you realise that it has not been looked at once.

You’ll Compete With Other People Over Who’s Done the Least Work

“How much have you done”
“1000 words”
“Oh, I’ve only done 500”
“Ah, well, I have even started my literature review”

Giving up Proofreading at the 1000 Word Mark

I mean, are the people marking this going to be paying that much attention…

Struggling to Even Get to the 1000 Word Mark…

No matter how much time you spend bashing out letters on the keyboard, the 1000 word marks seems like a point in the distance that refuses to be met. Although 4000 word essays have been the norm through your degree, this diss thing just isn’t playing the game. Is your computer deleting the words you’re writing? Have you lost the ability to write? Is the universe against you graduating? JUST LET ME HIT THE WORD COUNT, PLEASE.

… Then Somehow Needing to Cut Out 1000 Words

Come a day before the deadline you regret your desperate attempts to fill the pages with words as you now realise that you are 1000 words over the word count. At this point, you have nothing left. All your being went into every single one of those words. Reducing the word count is like being told to reduce the contents of your room into a suitcase, you just can’t do it.

Forsaking Your Health in the Name of Academic Gains

After spending six months reading, researching and writing, you have developed an unhealthy relationship with caffeine, are dependent on the paninis in GG and now refuse to exert any additional energy you may have into cooking food from scratch. You’re skin has never looked worse, you sleeping pattern has never been more disrupted and, quite frankly, you have become a shell of yourself. However, the end is nigh and you’ll never have to put yourself through this again… unless you do postgrad, but that’s a whole other story.

Wondering if it’s too Late to Give up on this University Thing

I mean, technically this is one of the last hallmarks of your degree. Up to this point you have survived nearly three years of deadlines, stress and no sleep. However, part of you still thinks that dropping out and beginning life as a mermaid is not a bad idea.

Posted in Lucy