10 Things you wish you knew before starting your dissertation (NM)

Ok so this may not be educational procrastination but the reason I haven’t uploaded any posts here for a while is because I haven’t actually had time to procrastinate :’) how good is that?? And it’s almost 3am and I can’t sleep.

As it’s just over a week until our 3rd year Dissertation is due in I found this article on The Gaurdian and wanted to share it with people. (More detail if you want to click on the link) Thought you may all appreciate it lol!

Things you wish you knew before starting your Dissertation

1 You can change your dissertation supervisor (Ok, this one didnt apply to me. I would have cried if someone tried to take my supervisor away from me haha)

2 If you mention working on your dissertation to family, friends or near-strangers, they will ask you what it’s about, and they will be expecting a more impressive answer than you can give. As I have been banging on about Consumer Psychology for the last 4 years my friends & family were not interested in the slightest about my project when I told them I wasn’t investigating anything Consumer Psychology related but instead I was investigating: The Effects of Materials and Reward on Learning.

3 If they ask follow-up questions, they’re probably just being polite. I couldn’t name one person who wanted to ask any follow up questions 😛

4 Do not ask friends how much work they’ve done. You’ll end up paranoid – or they will. Either way, you don’t have time for it.
This is the popular question flying around at the moment..

5 There will be one day, probably a couple of months before deadline, when you will freak out, doubt your entire thesis and decide to start again from scratch. You might even come up with a new question and start working on it, My flatmate definitely be very familiar with this one. Luckily she decided not to change topics and I think she was very pleased with this decision lol!! This isn’t really applicable to Psych as you would have to get your whole group to agree to change the project and I’m sure one of them would have had a sensible head on.

Although I think we all have that ‘panic moment’ where you think it’s ALL gone wrong. This happened to me last week when I suddenly decided I had analysed & interpreted the whole of my project wrong. After couple of hours of my friends reassuring me I hadn’t things soon got back on track. Haha!!

6 A lot of the work you do will not make it into your dissertation. Oh yes… many many days on SPSS have been wasted finding irrelevant/wrong data. Research you will have slaved over in second year for project proposal will be scrapped too. For my dissertation we had made our participants revise and gave them a test at the end of it and me and my project group actually even wrote out a whole story about this imaginary holiday destination with all these cool people and facts about the place which we were going to test them on. Then we were told we had to test participants on something ‘real’. We ended up testing them on The Eye…

7 You will print like you have never printed before. And if you are me you will then end up spilling tea on it all…
LOL tea

8 Your dissertation will interfere with whatever else you have going on – a social life, sporting commitments, societies, other essay demands. I haven’t been out since my birthday (February) and when I was home for Easter I even turned down the pub with all my besties 😦

9 Your time is not your own. Even if you’re super-organised, plan your time down to the last hour and don’t have a single moment of deadline panic, you’ll still find that thoughts of your dissertation will creep up on you when you least expect it. I (and many of my friends who I have spoken about this to) have dreamt about the dissertation!!!

10 Finishing it will be one of the best things you’ve ever done. It’s worth the hard work to know you’ve completed what’s likely to be your biggest, most important, single piece of work. And you’re proud of it. I wouldn’t actually know this yet AS I’M STILL WRITING THE THING!!!

Anything else that we should include on this list?

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