Third years, I’m looking at you. As much as you’re in denial, we all have that pesky thing called a dissertation hanging over our heads, don’t we? Trying to have a good summer but keep being reminded of that degree defining project we have to do next year? Fear not. I am going to give you a couple of top tips to make sure your dissertation doesn’t totally ruin your summer…
Find out exactly what you need to do.
Firstly, I would drop an email to your dissertation supervisor to find out exactly what needs to be done during summer in preparation for your dissertation. It might be that you need to read over your primary texts again to get a few ideas. Or it might be that you need to provide a comprehensive list of material by the end of September. Of course, there is definitely a preferred outcome there…
Regardless, it is better to know what is expected of you. If you have an essay to write in preparation for your dissertation, wouldn’t you rather know about it? That way, you know exactly how much time to allot to your dissertation over summer and can start September fully prepared. Likewise, it would be a nice feeling to know that you only have to read a couple of books, right? Either way, you’re prepared.
The old saying goes, “Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail”…
Get some perspective
We all want to be that person. That person who comes to uni in September with pages and pages of dissertation reading done, a detailed plan of action, and meetings with tutors already booked in.
However, let’s take a moment to step back and get some perspective. I’m all for being prepared and on time with things, but I never want it to compromise anyone’s relaxation time. Let’s face it, the summer before third year is definitely a period of relaxation. If completing all that extra work before terms starts means that you’re still able to take time out and relax with family and friends, then fair play. However, if you’re compromising key relaxation time then it probably isn’t necessary to do so much before term starts.
My best advice would be to take a step back and thing about what needs to be done. Not what could be done. Yes, you might have time over summer to make a comprehensive plan for your dissertation but is it really necessary when you’ll have allotted time for that when semester starts? It probably isn’t. Of course, don’t slack off and do nothing, but get some perspective to prioritise your time over summer effectively.
Have an amazing summer, don’t forget about your dissertation, but get some perspective. You can do this!
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