March 10, 2019, by Anjni
Struggling With Your Dissertation? Same Dude
With just shy of a month left of this term and dissertation deadlines for third – and forth! – years looming, you might not be the only one feeling like you’re in over your head. As fun as this final term ought to be, it can be hard to enjoy it when you’re in a panic or struggling to make it through your deadlines. It’s important to know however, that you’re not alone in that aspect and that a lot of students are experiencing the same bouts of hopelessness in these remaining few weeks, myself included.
And whilst I could sit here and type out ways for you to overcome these feelings, to feel empowered and determined as you set out to complete your dissertation and any other form of remaining coursework that you may have, it’s much easier said than done, and whilst it may seem simple, it can be anything but. With so many factors at play, juggling everything at uni – including that monster of a dissertation on top of other academic/non-academic commitments – can be tough. And it really takes its toll, with anxieties and stresses related to your progress (or lack thereof) manifesting themselves in all sorts of ways; be it sleepless nights, irregular eating patterns, or even catching the flu because the stress has left your immune system suppressed. These manifestations can leave you feeling down right rubbish and those thoughts can go onto greatly impact your work ethic, decreasing or diminishing it completely.
So in light of University Mental Health Day, which has just come and gone, I would like to highlight the importance of self-care and belief. I say it time and time again, but taking the time to look after yourself and watch out for your wellbeing is something I advocate a LOT. But when taking time out, people often question how much time is TOO much time? With a mere five weeks before my personal deadline, this is a question that’s been bouncing around inside my brain for a while these past few weeks as I sit *and avoid* doing my dissertation. But like I’ve said before, becoming distracted and almost fizzling out is your body’s way of telling you that you need to take it easy and slow down, so bear this in mind the next time you catch yourself feeling rubbish about procrastinating over your upcoming deadlines. Seems counter-intuitive, but taking time away from academics is actually vital in ensuring you meet those deadlines (and smash that dissertation!).
This concept of self-care and mindfulness is something that the university really pushes and encourages; there are a multitude of events and wellbeing activities that they offer throughout the year – not just on Mental Health Day, and not just as a one off. So should you ever feel like it’s all getting a bit much, there’s always people to contact – be it your friends or university officers – where voicing your opinions and thoughts and reaching out for help should you need it can go a long way in helping you feel a little less struggle-full.
And with that, I shall leave you with but a final statement. Your fears and dissertation struggles – or indeed any academic bouts – that you may be experiencing as we ride on through the month of March, are normal and more common than you may think. We’re all in the same boat, and whilst the term continues to tick away menacingly, there’s still time for you to go forth; to accomplish and to conquer. We’ve still got five weeks. And you’ve got this.