Going, going, gone- Goodbye Dissertation

IMG_7095

If you are following me on any social media, Twitter, Instagram any friends I have on Facebook I now apologise for the avalanche of dissertation related posts for the past few weeks. It really has been my life, every minute I had ‘free’ was spent on my dissertation, reading, editing, re-reading, having a meltdown, carrying on and finally submitting!! Yes today at about 2.30pm I finally handed in my printed and bound dissertation and it felt so good. So, so good.

It doesn’t mean I’m finished, I have two more assignments to finish and submit before everything is done but I do feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I know for a fact I handed in looking exhausted and I don’t really care about that because I am absolutely exhausted! I’m hoping that the next two essays don’t leave me working until 3am (they’re a lot smaller) and so I’ll just feel better.

IMG_7098

THE selfie I’ve been waiting to take for three years

I’m in two minds about whether, if I started my degree all over again, I would take a dissertation again if I had a choice. Looking back on this year and the stresses and strains I’ve had because of my health and my body I would probably been better doing two special studies, but hey ho it’s done and dusted now. Sylvia Plath will always hold a special place in my heart, hell I think I could even write a book on her if I wanted after all the research I’ve done for this! I mean I’m not going to, Sylvia is now just for pleasure reading. On that thought, ah pleasure reading, the TBR list is piling up now!

Honestly, I just feel so happy that it’s over and yes there are niggling little thoughts but I’m pushing them aside. It’s done, it’s over and there’s nothing I can do about it now. Buh-bye! Thank you to all of you who have commented on blogs, liked them, sent me messages on Instagram and Twitter, it feels like I have my own little support group when I’m struggling. So now, onwards and upwards, I’m halfway through submission and come the 3rd May it will all be done!

One of those meltdown days

0f741a77ef7e0d0836dfd9fd5eb8079a

Today has been one of those days where I just sat, freaked out and had a bit of a cry over the work that I have to do. Even though I know that my dissertation is in a place where I will be able to submit on time. So far I’ve never handed in a piece of work late at university, I may have had an extension of a few days, but nothing’s been capped for being late. I’m not about to start now.

There is still a lot to do here. I’m hoping to submit my dissertation on Friday, then I have a 5000 word essay to write and submit and then a 3000 word essay to finish and submit and ARGHHH. I think that’s enough to enable anyone to have a little meltdown. I might sound like I’m moaning and some people will think that I’m being more than just a little OTT, but this is hard work. Especially when my bed time has become 3am and I have been writing like crazy between the hours of 12 and 3. Not ideal.

So, hopefully I’ll make it through the next two weeks and be able to come out of it feeling a little more well rested and more positive. Wish me luck!

5 things I wish I’d known before going into Third Year

With third year coming to an end and my graduation looming I sat and thought about what I wish I’d known before I’d gone into third year. I won’t lie, this has been a tough year not just because the pressure was kicked up a gear at uni, but also because of stuff going on in my personal life. Either way here are 5 things I wish I’d known, that might just help future third years out!

1. You have a LOT of reading to do, get it done.

Trying to read all of my primary weekly texts, the additional theory, 30 secondary sources for dissertation, 15 secondary sources for my special study, and oh yeah MORE secondary sources for the other two modules. There’s a lot of reading to be done this year. Do as much of it in advance as you can and thank yourself later. Also, get used to the library, it’s going to be your second home.

IMG_0883

2. You will want to take naps like you’ve never wanted naps before.

I never used to be able to sleep in the day, at all unless I hadn’t slept at night (ahem, party animals in the flat next door). Now I feel like naps are the only way to keep me awake at night long enough to work on my assignments.

3. You’re allowed to struggle.

I spent most of my third year pretending to myself and my lecturers that uni was a breeze, that I had my shit together and of course I was ok. Fast forward to a month before my dissertation was due, I’m in tears in my supervisor’s office feeling like I couldn’t possibly get a good mark on this bit of work. For some reason I felt like I had to just project this air of confidence this year, maybe it was to make myself feel better? Either way if you’re struggling go and talk to your lecturers. Don’t make my mistake and wait until it all gets too much, it’s a stressful time and lecturers understand that.

4. Sleep is a wonderful thing, and during the final few weeks you will feel like you have never had enough. 

Yes I’m mentioning sleep again. Right now I have no sleep schedule. Some days I’ll be fine to be wide awake bright and early, go to the gym, work on my assignments and eat a healthy amount of food. Other days I’m writing until 2am, wake up a lot in the night or just don’t sleep at all. No matter how much sleep I do or don’t get I’m always exhausted. The brain is doing a lot of hard work right now people!

IMG_5091

5. You’re going to feel confused and excited and sad and have ALL OF THE FEELS, because this is a weird point of your life. 

I didn’t realise how all over the place emotionally I’d feel. On one hand I want to dig my nails in and never let go of uni ever because it’s the one place I’ve been happy to be in education. On the other hand I want to get all of my assignments done and out of the way and never spend another evening writing up references. I find myself getting emotional at the strangest times and other times I just shrug and get on with things. It’s a very weird time but I’m hoping, come July 27th when I officially have a degree it will have all been worth it.

One Down, Three to Go.

12188969_10154343488558206_6768563732286519453_n

Hello, hello, hello!

Sorry for wandering off for a few days, I’ve been up to my ears in assignments as well as acquiring a particularly nasty chest infection too. This week has been big in terms of third year, I had my final lecture on Tuesday, have started packing up the flat as we’ve handed our notice in for July and today I finally submitted one of my longer assignments, my piece on autobiographical poetry. I’ll never be a part of my Writing Women class again!!

I’ve been working on it for a pretty long time and, although I have absolutely no idea as to how it’s going to grade (obviously I’m hoping well) I’ve kind of just decided to live with it. I’ve done what I consider my best with the time and the pressures I’ve had. It’s done, gone and submitted and it actually feels like a quarter of the weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Now all I need to do is make sure that my dissertation is ready to be submitted in 10 days and then my other two essays after that. I will say that I think it’s kind of stupid to have all of our essays clumped together. It’s frustrating because we haven’t had the questions for two of them very long and, I suppose I am nervous about writing and finishing them both on time. BUT I am super determined to get it done. I can almost taste the freedom. So close, but so far.

Stress and Our Bodies!

5c7ec671cbbb4f5cd0730eab8f72ff0c

Now this isn’t the first time I’ve written about stress on this blog and I was pretty hesitant to write tonight with the fear of seeming like I’m moaning or one of those people who just drones on about how stressful their life is. BUT. I’ve realised lately, particularly through the lovely Twitter community that unless we talk about these things they won’t get better.

I’ve been reading again lately about mindfulness and CBT (which I’ve already been taught to do and helps me along). All I’ve heard lately from my peers is how stressed, exhausted and teary eyed we’ve all been because of the upcoming deadlines. A lot of people I know have been getting sick, not sleeping, random bouts of tears or having panic attacks. It got me thinking about stress and how much it can have an impact on people’s bodies and why we still won’t talk about it and just accept it as part of our daily lives.

Once again I’ve been tucked up in bed and had a sleepless night because my body has reacted badly to academic stress. This is roughly the third time I’ve been this poorly. The first was the year I was sitting my GCSE’s I was very poorly all year from a combination of my undiagnosed depression and stress from my classes and bullying. The second time was the run up to the big deadlines for my BTEC and A Levels. During my final (and most important) exam I spent the night up with sickness and a bad headache, and the proceeded to throw up in my exam…not my best moment. This time, of course it’s related to being in third year, and like my final year of school I’ve been poorly for most of the academic year.

I’m never usually this poorly when it comes to other types of stress. Working two jobs? Awesome. Keeping my house good at the same time? Done. But submitting essays and assignments is a whole different level of stress, even though I enjoy it and when I’m done I’m so proud. I’m getting better at trying to manage how the stress and how it affects my body but I do have a condition that’s hard to manage. It’s been proven that anxiety and IBS go hand in hand, which isn’t good news to me as my diagnoses is only a month old and I’m learning a lot fast in a highly stressful time in my life.

I guess what I’m trying to say (and I am writing this on only a few hours sleep) is that we need to realise that stress is a trigger for a lot of health problems and we need to recognise it. Over the summer I’m planning to look into mindfulness as a way to try and tackle my anxiety and therefore my IBS as well as carrying on to consider my diet, which plays a HUGE part in IBS.

I’m also trying to remember that the last 2 times I got sick and worried and cried a lot over my perfectionism in relation to grades (which may I add is only put on by myself, no one else puts pressure on me at all) it all turned out ok. I got really good results in my GCSE’s and my A Levels. I’m just trying to remind myself through all this that it’s been ok in the past and that I’m doing the best I can physically and mentally do right now and I guess that’s all I can do.

 

As always I’d love to hear from you guys, how to do react to stress? Do you have any tips for me? Leave a comment below!

Passion and finding a job

 

As a third year student who graduates soon the question of ‘What are you going to DO?’ is cropping up more and more. I know I’m not the only one who wants to stuff their fingers in their ears and just shout la la la I can’t hear you while running away.

I love Ted Talks because I learn a lot and I realise a lot while watching them. I had a conversation with a friend recently about not knowing what to do after uni and not having one true calling. I’ve said before that I would like to do a Masters degree and a PhD but I know that this might change. I also know that there is a chance I might change my mind, a chance that I won’t get funding (which means it would take 4-6 years part time). There are a lot of things that could happen.

So while I have been applying for a graduate job (!!), looking at the kind of jobs available and thinking about what I want to do. So, I watched this Ted Talk because it looked interesting and I liked what she said. About just taking jobs that seem interesting and see where they go, that’s what I’ve done with my past 2 jobs and I’ve loved them. I’ve seen people doing the job and just like her thought ‘I could do that’ and my passion just grew and grew from there. All because I didn’t wait for this big show and dance of outright passion.

Don’t get me wrong I’m still going to freak out at times, I’m 21 and graduating. There’s a lot of pressure but I’m hoping I can keep this in mind and maybe you can too.

I’m not ready for 2016

68d9889193100a720f7af7e5bb8c193b

2016 is supposed to be an exciting year for me. Graduation for a lot of people is something to celebrate but with graduation comes a minefield of uncertainty and basically leaving me on the verge of panic attack central. As the days creep closer to the new year I feel like I’m digging my heels in and just saying no, no, no, no.

I’m not feeling happy or confident about graduating. I don’t like not having a plan and knowing what I’m going to do. I don’t know what I’ll graduate with, I don’t know if I can get a job or if I’ll get the one I want, I don’t know if my MA will run or if I’ll be able to afford it. Where will I live? Will I be able to deal with doing my MA and working at the same time? All these questions are running around my head and my anxiety is attacking me like a laser.

I’m hoping I’ll calm down and take it day by day, month by month but you do get asked a lot of questions. Everyone is interested in a kind way but it’s still stressful. Knowing that in a few months people will be coming to view mine and Ali’s home for the past few years and that I’ll have to start boxing things up again…To say that all this makes me emotional is an understatement and this is all probably a lot work because I’m tired and generally emotional at the moment.

It isn’t all doom and gloom. Some nights I think about exciting things and plans I have and ideas for the blog or the book I’ve always wanted to write. I guess it’s all ups and downs. I’ll try and go into 2016 with a day by day attitude because there are going to be a lot of changes coming my way and I am really anxious. I’m hoping I can work on my techniques and keep fighting the anxiety because I really do want to enjoy what I have left of my undergraduate degree and hopefully there will be good things to come in 2016.

 

 

Picture from Pinterest