The 8 Emotional Stages of A Dissertation
We’ve all been there. Sitting in the library at 2AM, high as kites on an incredibly healthy concoction of Dominos, Pro Plus and Red Bull, knee deep in Harvard Referencing and literature reviews. Possibly crying into your laptop, or maybe just watching the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, hoping that all of that intelligent doctor-speak will inspire you to create a masterpiece.
If you’re still sailing that sea of questionnaires, SPSS and methodology let us hold your hand through this emotional time of year. It might stop you from spontaneously bursting into tears in the library… how embarrassing!
Now that you’ve got the seal of approval for your dissertation topic, it’s time to get organised. You raid the library of every book that might be even slightly related to your subject; buy ALL the stationery, post-it notes, highlighters etc; and then set them all neatly in a pile on your desk. Then you Instagram the lot. #workstartsnow #study #stress #tidydesktidymind
(PS: you don’t ACTUALLY do any work, but whatevs)
Dissertation? What dissertation? You’ve got loads of time. You OWN that dissertation. In your brand new, shiny diary, you map out the number of weeks until your hand-in date, and work out that you roughly only have to do 800 words a week, which boils down to like 100 words a day. That’s nothing. You could easily afford one night out a week – couldn’t you?
You had great intentions, really you did. You even cancelled the aforementioned night out with friends to ‘work on your dissertation’ – it’s not your fault that Netflix and House of Cards stole three hours from your life. Besides, everyone needs a few hours to talk themselves out of doing work before they actually do it. It’s the first rule.
If I highlight this whole chapter, that means I can spend three hours on the Playstation, right? And if I write 500 words, that’s got to be my work for the week. Even my dissertation supervisor told me to reward myself – who am I to argue? Beware – bargaining with chocolate can result in horrible weight gain, and ain’t nobody got time for those extra pounds.
At this point, friends/family/significant others should avoid you at all costs. Why did you wait so long to do those interviews? And what the HECK is SPSS? With 2000 words down, 8000 to go and more words left than you have weeks, it’s time for that long-awaited nervous breakdown. You might cry, you will definitely eat more than usual, and you might splurge on something expensive online to make yourself feel better. It’s all part of the healing process.
After the big breakdown, you’re well on the road to recovery. Sadly, it’s less than a month from the deadline. Not to worry – you’ve turned into that hard-working hermit you should have been all semester, you knock out at least 1000 words per night, and you’re even impressing yourself. Your mother would be so proud.
It’s the night before the big hand-in, you’re pumped up on fast food and energy drinks, and ready for that game-changing all-nighter. You’ve got those niggling corrections from your studies advisor to fix, not to mention those few references that you forgot to take down along the way. As for proof-reading, you say that you’re going to read it at least three times, but after the first scan through, you never want to see it again.
But wait. What if there’s one spelling error that’s the difference between a First and a 2:1? Panic stations.
WOOHOO! After months of dread hanging over you like the hangman’s noose, you are FREE. Time to hit the bar and down a totally unacceptable number of tequila shots at the unsociable hour of 11AM. But first, let me just sit down for a…. ZzZzZzZz.
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