The dissertation is the most pressurised assignment of a student’s life; it’s as simple as that. This can often mean that in amongst the stress and angst you grow resentful of the topic you chose, even questioning why you chose that topic in the first place!
This need not be the case!
Here are 3 simple tips to take the weight off your shoulders and put the enjoyment back into your student life. As human beings we tend to find some of the most depressing subjects interesting. Whilst interesting is good and will motivate you to start your dissertation at a frenetic pace, it can very quickly turn from an assignment into a punishment. If you become disillusioned with your topic then you are not likely to give it the attention and diligence that it deserves. A dissertation requires you to look at it on a day-to-day basis and if your day-to-day top up of dissertation work is filled with doom and gloom, it will not bode well for your mental wellbeing, especially if it takes you three months to complete!
Make sure you do not fall out of love with your dissertation topic!
This is something that so often gets taken for granted. A lot of students become overconfident in their research skills after three years of study and they assume that there will always be enough to read on a certain subject. Remember ‘familiarity breeds contempt’! What students fail to remember is that all module questions they have answered so far in their course have been chosen and set by their lecturers. Lecturers make sure that there are enough quality sources with which to do an appropriate level of research.
This is particularly true for those who are looking to do something that is high in originality. If it is highly original, it is likely that the sources with which to reference the dissertation are going to be more troublesome to find.
When you are two months into a dissertation and have already exhausted all available source material, things can become very stressful very quickly.
Make sure there is sufficient literature!
Your friends and peers are an important part of your academic life, we know that. However, they are not important in your decisions surrounding your dissertation. Whilst it is good to have a reality check every now and again, whatever you do, do not obsess over how much work others have done in comparison to yourself. You are the master of your own destiny on this one and thinking about other people is only going to make you feel more stressed. You will be giving yourself unnecessary anxiety about something that you have no control over. If you do work on the dissertation regularly you WILL finish the work. There is nothing more inspiring to work than fear but there is no need to become fearful too early in the dissertation game! If you only have two days left with 8,000 words to do, then you can worry but before that, relax and back yourself. You’ll survive.
Do your own thing, let them do theirs!
A dissertation is not life or death and it certainly isn’t worth having sleepless nights over. If you follow these tips and do an hour of work a day after choosing your topic you will have absolutely no trouble creating a dissertation to be proud of. Remember you’re in the third year for a reason, because you’re good enough to do this!