Coping with Dissertation Stress

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Dissertation. The very word that strikes fear into the heart of third years everywhere. As a current third year myself, I know of the horror facing us all; cue inevitable mental breakdown.

But don’t let your dissertation get the best of you, there are a few things that you can do to prevent the waves of stress that will hit you before the term is through. Taking your mind off your dissertation and doing something productive will definitely help you in the long run, so go to the gym or go to a society meeting, and once you’ve come back to your desk you’ll feel so much more focused. Do not get Netflix and start binge watching seasons of Pretty Little Liars- who would do that when their deadline is looming, right?! Someone easily distracted and putting off writing dissertation chapters, that’s who.

Setting yourself little markers will definitely help you to cope with the amount of work you have, so arranging meetings with your supervisor is a great way to ensure you get your work done each time. If your deadline isn’t until the end of term you’re more likely to feel you’ve got plenty of time to get it all done, but if you’ve got a meeting with your dissertation supervisor in Week 5 then you have to get at least something done by then. Having these deadlines every so often means your workload will be easier for you to manage and when it comes to crunch time just a few weeks before hand-in time, you’ll have actually done a lot more than you remember.

Even if you don’t have a meeting, just writing something little and often eases the pressure. Writing 500 words of a chapter of a less than legible paragraph may not be the best work you’ve ever written, but it does get you closer to that 10,000 mark. Going back and editing whatever you’ve written is a good way of keeping on top of it too. What you think was ‘A’ grade standard on one day can clearly be absolute drivel when you look at it the day after.

Dissertation’s can be a great deal of anxiety if you let it take a back seat. Without trying to lecture too much, it really is best to keep persevering with it. Of course when it’s the week before it will be the most stressful time of your life ever even if you’ve already written most of it, but don’t leave it all to finish then, you’ve practically buried yourself in coursework otherwise.

And try not to be jealous of everyone uploading their obligatory picture of their finished and bound dissertation, it will be you eventually. *Cue jaeger and terrible hangover.

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