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Dissertation season: 19 things only students can relate to

Fear not: you're not alone

Lizzi Hart
Wednesday 02 March 2016 16:34

Your entire degree has been leading up to this point and, suddenly, it’s here. Not to mention, you probably have other deadlines, exams, and projects to complete too. No pressure, right? Luckily, you’re not the only one - even though it might feel that way. So take a few minutes away from ‘it’ and read the 19 things only dissertation students will understand:

1) Your dissertation grade affects your entire degree grade


Good thing there’s no added pressure… Oh, wait.

2) You can’t avoid it anymore


It’s been looming over you for years and months, but you’ve always been able to ignore it for more pressing matters. You can’t do that anymore.

3) You’ve never been able to nap so easily


“I’ll feel better after a little siesta...”

4) Breakdowns occur almost daily, and can be triggered by anything



5) Your motivation levels soar and dip within seconds


9 am: “I’m going to achieve so much today!”
9.03 am: “I should cut my losses and join the circus.”

6) It feels like no one understands what you’re going through


Selfishly, people are still inviting you to Pryzm every Wednesday, or out for birthday drinks, or to a house party. Even your own family expects you to be social. DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!

7) Yet, everyone still asks *that* question


“How’s your diss…” No.

8) You regularly forget why you chose this topic/what it even means


Can I start again, please?

9) You’ve never consumed more caffeine in your life


And you thought exams were bad…

10) Illness is possibly the worst thing to happen right now…


Just one sniffle will have you downing five Beroccas and 20 multivitamins*. Not today, immune system, not today.
*don’t do this

11) You also have a million other things to worry about


Like trying to find a job, or somewhere to live, or revise for your exams. Nope, no time.

12) You’ve wasted too much time trying to map out your remaining weeks


“If I can write 1,000 words per day, I will have it finished in a week.” Good try.

13) You dream of nothing but your dissertation


That, or failing university and having to move back home. It never ends.

14) When you hear first-years complaining about their one exam



15) When someone *dares* to check out the book you need


Are you actually kidding me?!

16) You actually have nothing to talk about anymore


You can’t talk about *that*, so apart from your dinner of instant noodles, or the amount of procrastination you managed, what else did you do today?

17) When you let yourself ‘relax’, you just feel guilty


“I could have written an entire chapter in the 30 minutes I’ve spent watching Friends.”
No you couldn’t have, but it sure feels like it.

18) Healthy Eating < Eating


Unless you can cook as your own form of procrastination, eating well is not on your list of priorities. Don’t worry though; you can claw back your regime after your deadline.

19) You know when you just can’t be bothered anymore?


Yep (but it will pass, promise).

Lizzi Hart is a recent linguistics graduate and a marketing assistant at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau. She also hates cats

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