Dissertations: getting some perspective

March 23, 2017 16:02

It’s that time of year – dissertation hand-ins, essay deadlines, portfolio polishing off. And it can all get a bit overwhelming. I was having a discussion with a dear friend about his dissertation and I asked if he was nervous to hand it in – his reply was that he’d spent months writing thousands of words; he can’t change it now so why stress?

It’s a philosophy that is so easily forgotten, especially around these months, and I’m writing these words as a reminder to myself as much as to anyone else. Once an essay is handed in, it’s out of your hands. Worrying about it will have no positive outcome; it will only serve to reduce your quality of life. Channel the panic over an upcoming final into productivity and revise for it. We are more in control of our emotions than we realise and so, channelling the adrenalin that soars through our body positively or negatively is up to us.

This mind set is applicable not only to academia but to general life. Your course mate didn’t smile back at you from the other side of the street? She probably didn’t see you. Somebody drank the last of your milk? Annoying, but has anybody died? Take a moment and count to five. Nobody has died, you are not starving, and most likely, there is another carton of milk in the fridge that you can borrow from.

That being said, things are very rarely completely black and white. While stressing over something that is already done is unproductive and unhelpful, life is fluid; relationships can be fixed, dynamics evolve, people change. Bridges are never truly entirely burned. Take a breath and remember: whatever it is, it’s not the end of the world.

March 23, 2017 16:02

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