So, it’s been a hot minute since I last sat down an wrote a blog post about uni. It’s not because I forgot, though. It’s literally because I think my last blog post was the last time I actually sat down. Life is moving at a crazy speed right now and I’m not getting a single moment to catch my breath. It’s scary and wild but I’m learning so much about myself.
Okay, so Semester One felt a lifetime ago but here’s a really quick run down of what I studied and how I did! Modules: dissertation, language processing (meh) and representation, identity, and style (right up my alley). Honestly, I picked quite well for this semester in terms of content. The content of my lectures and seminars were super fun and exciting and I really got my teeth into it. However, I wish I’d have learnt from last year because Language Processing had some serious Syntax energy and if you remember back to my thoughts and results and that module…. yeah. Exam season battered and bruised me a little but but we did good! Can we just discuss that my essay worth 70% in Representation, Identity, and Control got me a 78!!! THAT’S MY HIGHEST MARK IN AN ESSAY AT UNI EVER! I was so so gassed and it completely made up for my little stumble in the Language Processing exam.
My academic pursuits are not the most notable point of interest of my semester one, though. Can we discuss how my social life SKY ROCKETED and I made a handful of new and glorious friends. I learnt that I can make friends (if we go back to my first year updates you’ll get a different picture completely). Honestly, so proud that I have the friends that I do and my job definitely helped me expand my social circle. My word of advice is this: don’t be afraid. Take a chance and take a leap and put yourself out there. Ask people to make plans don’t wait for plans to be made with you.
As well as making some lovely friends, I also got some amazing opportunities to work on some amazing campaigns that you can see if you follow me on Instagram 🙂 So yeah that was my whistle stop tour of semester one. Now to get into what I really wanted to talk about in this post.
THE DREADED DISSERTATION
I think the most common thing I get asked in terms of university is about the dissertation. Now, when I heard those words uttered in first year I would get this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach like I’d eaten some bad sushi the night before. It filled me with dread but felt so far away. Second year it felt a bit closer, it was coming. I could feel the dissertation breathing down my neck at the end of second year I plucked up the courage to turn around and look it in the eye.
I’m glad I did this so early. At the end of second year (May time I think), I realised that the dissertation was ugly and scary. However, if I’d looked at it later, after summer, I’m sure it would’ve been much uglier and scarier. I’m lucky in that my school at uni is very on top of the dissertation. We had to hand in a proposal and got assigned a supervisor all before the end of second year. This meant I went into summer feeling really good about my dissertation and I did a bit of work on it.
However, you have to treat the dissertation as a marathon. Pace yourself. Sometimes you get a good pace going. Sometimes you have to walk for a bit. Then you run and so on and so forth. It’s a big project but don’t let it intimidate you. The only way to let it not intimidate you is to keep on top of it. Lose control for even a couple of weeks and you’ll regret it. I am not here to strike the fear of the Academic Gods into you… but I kind of am.
Right now I am sitting quite happy. I have a strong 5,000 words of my dissertation first draft written and my final deadline is still two months away. I have time. I have been plodding along. The dissertation is the classic analogy: the hare and the tortoise. If you’re a hare and you rush through it and get it done super quick, you’ll regret it. Be a tortoise, take your time. Wander through your reading quite slowly. Write it with time to spare. Go steady. Enjoy this massive project and really get your teeth dug into it. This is the pinnacle of your academic career so why not take your time and enjoy it. All roads lead to THE DREADED DISS so when you get there make sure it’s the best it can be.
Anyway, I’m going to shut up now! Stay happy and healthy and I’ll talk soon, promise (lol)