Death by Dissertation??

IMG_6799

At least once a week I’m faced with a crippling fear and enormous self doubt as the result of trying to work on my dissertation. For someone who’s not done a dissertation before, they may think I’m being dramatic, it’s not that hard, right? Wrong. I honestly thought I was so behind but after meeting up with some fellow third years to work on a group project that they also feel as stressed and confused as I am.

My dissertation, something I so looked forward to, had turned into the bane of my existence. I’m now on my  3rd draft and have so much more to do, before it’s finished next month. I’ll have whole days where I’m like ‘yeah let’s get this done’ and then mornings like today where I just want to sit and cry in my duvet and contemplating printing my dissertation and then setting fire to it, obviously that won’t help but in my sleep deprived state it’s entertaining.

I never thought I’d be this stressed or worked up about a project I’d chosen to do. The last haul is definitely the hardest but I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve been working on the parts I love for a long time and now it’s come to editing and reading more critical theory (ENOUGH ALREADY!). I just keep chanting, one more month, one more month.

It’s weird because I love academics normally, I love to write. Hell, you guys are stuck with my notifications every day! I’m just excited to be done with these and finally start my book and have all my passion and energy do into fiction rather than quotes on Marxist Feminism and the role of women in the 1950s.

For any of you also tackling your dissertations, good luck! For those of you who have completed one, what do you suggest to celebrate when I finally finish!

Time to start my Dissertation!

ab0ea12134d1eee17aa65770def8ef7d

The moment has finally arrived, I’m starting my dissertation and like the true geek I am I couldn’t be more excited! A lot of people are interested but confused about why I’m going to look at Sylvia Plath and why I like reading her work so much. Sylvia’s work is not sunshine and flowers, yes it is dark but there is also such a poignant beauty to it.

Now I’m not one of those people who thinks that we should glamourise Sylvia and her struggles with mental health, it’s not something she romanticises. I think it’s one of the reasons that I fell in love with her novel The Bell Jar I could understand how the character of Esther felt, how by extension Sylvia felt (the novel is heavily autobiographical) because it is incredibly honest and truthful. If you didn’t know, unfortunately Sylvia took her life at the age of 30.

sylvia-plath-1

I think there’s just a lot I can relate to in Plath’s writing, like the quote above. There’s a lot of confusion in her work and just trying to work out who you are and how you fit in the world. Which leads me on to what I’m going to be studying (assuming it gets approved). I want to look at female identity in the works of Sylvia Plath, specifically the role of the ‘traditional’ female. I just feel like when I’m reading her work there’s this huge anxiety with who she should be and how she should act as a woman and it’s something I relate to, so that’s what I’m going to write 10,000 words on. Simple, right?

I’m really excited to get started, research and kind of start what might be a career for me, the start of my academic life. Yes, I sound like a total nerd. Of course I am really nervous too, it’s big piece of writing and there’s a lot of independence to get used to but it’s going to be great sharing this journey with you!

Finding new loves

IMG_0674

It’s exciting when you find a new love on your degree. I’ve avoided Victorian Literature for a long time because of the way it had been taught to me, now I’m in university and I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Victorian poetry, only a few pieces but still. This is one of the greatest things about studying for a degree, I’m going down all these different paths and right now for academics I’m looking at prostitution in one module and Young Adult literature in another while on the side I’m looking at mental health in literature. I’m full of passion and excitement, which to me is what university is about.

I haven’t spoken about wanting to do an MA much on this blog but every day I get more of this overwhelming feeling that it’s not something I just want to do it’s something that I need to do, maybe I wont progress on to PhD (that bit depends on funding) but need to take that next step. There’s something about research that lets me just immurse myself in it, the only other thing I’ve felt like that about is music, the first love I ever had.

This might seem a bit sappy but today just put it into focus for me, every one of my lectures keeps telling me to be more confident, I know how to do this and I’m good at it and believe it or not I’m starting to listen. I submitted some pieces for first checks today and I’m not panicking for once, I know that they are good enough right now and I can build through the year.

Loving my degree, loving life!

Where do I come from?

We all wonder where we come from, I’m no exception. I’ve been researching my family history on my Mum’s side for a good few years now with my Gramps, I know we’re of Swiss-Italian nationality a few generations back (hence the name) but there’s a point where we get stuck and can’t go back any further, which annoys me. I don’t know as much about my Dads side, even though he’s interested in finding out about them too.

I think it’s important that we know where we come from, if we wish. I have friends who are desperate to track down family, some lost, some they’ve never known and some they will never know. I’m currently obsessed with two shows, Long Lost family and Who Do You Think You Are? I love the past, the history and the things that people find out.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop researching, in an academic sense or in this kind and it will be nice to connect with my ancestors. It’s great being so close to London, so let’s see what we can find…