Dissertation Drama: An Ode to the Life of a Student

Lets Talk Real Life rounded

Full disclosure, this post is going to be a ramble with lots of pictures and gifs!

So, you may have noticed it’s been quite quiet around here lately. Not that I’m worrying about that, it’s life right? But I thought I would do a little catch up on what’s been happening the past few months. To sum it all up in one word?


Yep, that evil monster reared its ugly head. The one that strikes fear into the hearts of students everywhere. The past few months have been a smooshy ball of stress, panic, hope, and then straight back to panic again.

There’s been sleep deprivation from working all day and long into the night to the point where I begun to look seriously disheveled and my eyes became red from staring at computer screens, but I was determined to keep going based on pure will power.


There’s been setbacks, sometimes just when I thought I was taking a step forward I ended up taking three steps back, making things I had been working of for days essentially pointless.

Hampsters spinning

There’s been melancholy where the joy of life was sucked out of everything due to the endless onslaught of work. It got to the point where making dinner or having a shower was the highlight of my day because it didn’t involve staring at a computer…

Minions table tennis

And then there were those days when I went to visit my supervisor and they would find all sorts problems with my dissertation and I felt like I was about to implode. What’s that world? You want to chuck problems at me? I don’t even care anymore.

Sherlock screaming

BUT, this week I finally handed in my dissertation! I got my 6,000 words bound so that they looked all professional and swanky, trudged up to my university and dropped that nasty thing in the box where it belonged! Good riddance.

I mean, the melodrama and gifs aside, it wasn’t all bad. I feel like I learnt so much during this project. It really challenged me as a student and gave me more insight into how the research world works and it was great to be able to fully immerse myself in a topic I was interested in learning more about. But after a while the constant setbacks and problems (which always induced panic mode) as well as constantly having to slave over the same piece of work did get frustrating, especially as I had so many other assignments alongside it so that in the end I only had one week to fully focus on my dissertation alone.

So, now I only have one assignment and two exams left, isn’t it crazy how time flies?

Somewhere in the middle of that mess I also turned 21. Not the best timing, (especially as I had an essay due a few days after which I hadn’t even had a chance to start) so I just had a few low key celebrations with the people I really cared about. Sometimes spending your birthday with a few people that you’re truly great friends with but haven’t seen in ages is better than any big party would have been. 🙂 I’m still trying to wrap my head around hitting that big landmark number though!

11039535_819318568146947_1061909657_ncocktails1edited(My friend and I attempted self-made cocktails for my 21st, don’t think they turned out too shabby!)

But the most frustrating thing about being a final year student with a dissertation? I HAVEN’T READ ANYTHING IN WEEKS. We’re nearly four months into the year and do you know how many books I’ve read? A grand total of two. I keep staring longingly over at my bookshelf at all the things I’m desperate to read, and every day I tell myself I’ll find some time to read them, and it never happens.

My Books Look Sad Rory

I feel ya Rory.

Currently I’ve slowly been making my way through Allegiant, the final novel in Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy and it’s taking me forever, not because I’m not enjoying it, but because I’ve had no time to read it. It seems like every time I pick it up I get called to do something else or remember that I’m supposed to be doing something important/more time sensitive. *Sigh.* It’s weird, I kind of feel like I’m in a reading slump… but how can you be in a reading slump if you’re not reading anything to get in a slump with? I think with all the work I’ve been doing lately, I just need a book that’s really going to grab me to the point where I can’t not read it. I need something that’s going to distract me so much that I no longer have space in my head for thinking about work!!!
On the plus side, I just received an ARC of of Non Pratt’s latest novel, and you guys know how much I loved her first book Trouble! So I’m thinking this might be exactly what I need. 🙂

So, that’s my past few months in a ramble-y nutshell! Anything new with you guys? Taken on any new projects that have caused you to burn out? Read any great books that might blast away my reading slump? (Bonus points if you can come up with one I already own but haven’t read). Let me know in the comments! 🙂


Image Sources:
Banner, my own.
Cocktail picture my own.
Hermione gif // Hampsters gif // Minions gif // Sherlock gif // Rory gif

32 thoughts on “Dissertation Drama: An Ode to the Life of a Student

  1. Congratulations on two biggies! 21 and a dissertation is pretty cool. Someday, all of the stress and worry will be ten years behind you and you’ll be a rich, successful book reviewer / scientist-y type. Of course, you’ll also be *31*. 🙂

    I don’t think two books so far this year is bad. One of them was IT, wasn’t….uh…it, so that’s a doorstop right there. The books will always be there.

    I read something on Wil Wheaton’s blog the other day – he was commenting, as you were, about how little he blogs sometimes. One of the comments someone made is worth remembering, I think: This is *your* blog, and you write it to *your* schedule. We’ll still be here.

    Is that a Cosmopolitan? I’ve got one of those in the fridge (although mine came from Tesco) to try one day this week. I’d love to try a Grasshopper (Too much Big Bang Theory!), but I can’t find anyone who knows how to make them.

    Personally, I’ve got a fortnight from Easter break from work / school, so I’m getting some writing done!

    • Thanks, Tony! I must admit the dissertation did look pretty awesome once it was bound and looked all professional. Haha! Let’s hope so. Ohh god. 31??? Don’t even say it, LOL.

      True, IT was super long so that did take some time, but usually I would have read at least 4 books by this point in the year, and it makes me sad because there are SO MANY amazing books I wish I was reading right now. I know that they will wait but I am a greedy bookworm and I wants them now, mwuhuhu. 🙂

      Awwh, thanks, Tony, and I definitely agree with Wil Wheaton. I see so many bloggers apologise again and again for lack of posting and it’s just like, don’t stress! It’s your blog, it’s not supposed to be a chore or a dog collar around your neck. Also, let’s be honest, people aren’t sitting there refreshing their inbox waiting for your post like a 13 year old girl waiting for a guy to text. We have busy lives, and often, people might not even notice our absence. So I’ve learnt not to stress about these things, although I do really miss blogging when I don’t do it for a while. 🙂

      Cosmopolitan glasses but not an actual Cosmopolitan, we didn’t have all the ingredients so we kinda improvised and made up some of our own recipes. Oooh, I’ve never heard of a Grasshopper!

      Sounds like a great plan, good luck with the writing!

    • Thank you! March has sure been an eventful month. 🙂
      Eeeep! Good luck, you can do it! After writing this post it may seem strange to say this but, it’s not as hard as you think it’s going to be. We build it up to be such a big thing in our heads that actually doing it is often not as awful as you expect.

  2. Ok, you’ve been a lot more productive than me.
    On the other hand, hopefully now you know how to deal with panic, and that’s an incredibly useful skill.

    Happy belated birthday, and congratulations on the dissertation!

  3. Ooooh I know all those feelings very well! Huge congratulations on getting it all completed and handed in, I hope you’ve had a lot of well-deserved sleep since then!

    I feel the reading slump as well, I think I read about two books during my entire university career, it’s rubbish but makes it all the sweeter when you can get back to reading on a more full-time basis so there’s something to look forward to 🙂 I’m afraid I don’t have any real recommendations for you, but I usually alleviate a reading slump with some Stephen King 😉

    • Haha, glad it’s not just me that went through all these crazy emotions! Thank you so much, it’s a great feeling and I’ve definitely been having a lot of lie-ins since completing it. 🙂

      Only two books? Awh man, that’s terrible. I think I would start going kinda crazy if I didn’t manage to fit in a few books here and there. I feel crazy enough as it is having only managed to read two so far, LOL. I really hope I experience the enjoyment of getting to read more again after all this is over like you did. 🙂
      Aha, no worries! I attempt my first Stephen King recently, it was pretty cool.

  4. Farting hell… it’s posts like this that make me feel glad that I worked in a furniture shop rather than go on to do higher education. Getting beaten up by the tetchy van driver sounds like an easy ride compared to writing a 6k word essay.

    Still, it’s good when those mountains have been moved aside – means you’ve got more time to read and finish off trilogies.

    With regards to projects, I’ve got a new mattress being delivered on Tuesday. And I’ve almost finished a short story I’m working on. It’s the first time I’ve ever written a story from a first person diary perspective and it was somewhat teeth grinding in places. It’s quite challenging making the characters feel real when there’s no dialogue. I’m quite pleased with it though.

    And happy birthday!

    • Hahaa! It’s posts like this that make me feel that way too. SO MUCH EFFORT. So much sitting in front of a computer til the early hours of the morning. Eeesh.

      Yes, definitely, it feels so good now that it’s finally done and I can move on to the next thing and squeeze in a bit of reading!

      Oooh, a short story, interesting. And first person type diary entries can be so tricky I agree. I’ve read some books that implement that technique so well, while others have become really tedious and frustrating. Good luck!

      Thank you. 🙂

  5. Congrats! You’ve made it through the dissertation! And HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY as well. (I recently celebrated my birthday in March too so HI-FIVE there!) 🙂 That’s a lot you’ve accomplished so don’t despair on the reading, much as you miss it. If you have a little time now, I hope you find a book that captivates you to the point where you spend all day reading. I just did that with Rachel Hartman’s Shadow Scale. I recommend Seraphina if you have the time.

    • Thank you, Zezee! I can’t believe that both of these things came around so quickly, it’s been a whirlwind. Yay, HIGH FIVES BACK FOR MARCH BIRTHDAYS. They are obviously the best ones. 😉
      I know you’re right, I shouldn’t worry about the reading too much, but that’s only happening because I love it so much and it’s such an ingrained part of me that I feel really off-kilter if I don’t read for a while!

      Thanks, me too. I just need that one special book to come to me. 🙂 Oooh, I’ve been wondering whether I should pick up Seraphina for a while now, so it’s good to know you liked it! I love all things dragons.

  6. I feel this post. I am also in the midst of a lengthy dissertation-like paper AND also just turned 21. The punchline is that I spent my 21st birthday desperately scrambling around to get my computer fixed, because it broke on the day I had planned to knock out 5 full pages on said paper. Enjoyed a nice glass of wine after that though. 😛

    • Thanks, Shannon, glad to know you can relate. 🙂 I think your Buffy project/paper sounds FASCINATING (if that’s the one you’re talking about) and judging by your passion and knowledge on the subject, I’m sure you will get through it!

      Ahh man, what bad timing! Computer problems on your 21st, sometimes the world sucks. If it makes you feel any better, I had to do work on my birthday too. But the computer thing? That would have seriously stressed me out!! At least the wine was there to comfort you, heheee. 🙂

  7. You did it!!!!! You finished that nasty dissertation, and I just know it’s brilliant :). Don’t worry, you have millions of reading hours ahead of you that you will totally deserve after all your hard work. I just knew you could do it, and I can’t wait to see what comes next in your life! Congrats Book Buddy. By the way, I just love minions :).

  8. First things first – HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you got a lot of bookish presents. =D

    And congrats on finishing your dissertation! Nasty little buggers, aren’t they? I’ve had bad experiences with those too and was just so extremely glad when they were over. Happy to see that you pulled through!

    Also – books can definitely be sad. I feel you when it comes to the reading slump, because I’ve only read 5 books since the beginning of the year. I don’t like visiting Goodreads as much because my challenge keeps reminding me that I’m waaaaay behind (9 books as of now). I have so much work, and every day I’m staying up until 3 a.m. and waking up at 8 the next day, dragging myself to work, coming back home, making myself a meal then burying myself in more work. Now that you mention it, I only look forward to my dinners now too, haha. I /still/ need to pick up Trouble. I haven’t been able to find it. D: I think I’ll have to end up ordering it online or through my local bookstore.

    • Hahaa thank you! I did manage to get a few bookish presents actually, I’m looking forward to reading them. 🙂

      Yes, they are! Couldn’t have described it better myself. Well done for getting through yours as well, I’m sure you did great. It’s such a struggle when you’re doing it but you feel so proud and happy once its done.

      Ohh no, you’re in a reading slump too? 5 books…at least you’re doing better than me, LOL. I’ve actually never participated in the Goodreads challenge for that very reason. I feel like on purpose or not, it might put pressure on me and I don’t need pressure from reading, it’s supposed to be fun! Your days lately sound super nightmarish, I’m not surprised you’ve been struggling with reading, you must be so tired! Haha, at least looking forward to dinner is better than looking forward to nothing. I hope the work lets up a little soon. 🙂

      Trust me, Trouble is worth waiting for!

  9. “I don’t even care anymore”…… that line basically summed up my final semester :/ There were so many assignments and projects (one of which included filming a Documentary in the midst of tests) that I honestly stopped caring as much as I always have!!!!! Some of the work I did was so sub – par when compared to my usual work ….. I didn’t even care as much…. all my submissions were completed and the relief is immense! Now my final semester exams are in a week and I’ll be officially done! ^^ I’m looking forward to joining the working world 😛

    • Hahaa, I totally understand what you mean. It gets to that point where you’re so overwhelmed you feel like dropping everything and going on holiday or something! That’s the frustrating thing, when so much work is thrown at you it’s annoying because you know if you had more time, you could do a much better job of it. Very frustrating!
      Congrats on getting those assignments in and good luck with the end of your final semester, YOU CAN DO IT! 😀

  10. I am loving this catch up post.

    URGH DISSERTATION. I remember all the feels very well. Just being consumed in a constant bubble of research and writing and computers and deleting and supervisors and ‘arghhhh’ moments. But it’s worth it in the end eh 😉 I cannot believe you have so little time left in university. Try to enjoy it!

    The big 2-1! You can now legally buy alcohol in America. If you so desire. In fact, it’s just another number and very little changes, but it is a milestone in terms of becoming an “adult”. Some of the best times I’ve had have been with few people and minimal fuss so I totes feel ya.

    *whispers* me too with the reading slump thing! I’ve been having health problems and I literally haven’t read anything for weeks. It’s a slippery slope isn’t it?!

    P.S. I’m on season 4 of Game of Thrones. I’ve binge-watched the entire lot and now I’m bloody OBSESSED.

    • Yay, so glad!

      DISSERTATION INDEED. There’s nothing else quite like it, except for a thesis etc. of course. 😛 It’s amazing how many emotions you go through! And you’re so right, it’s like a bubble that consumes your entire life for a chunk of time, it’s kind of an awesome feeling to become so focussed on achieving one thing. Let’s hope so! Me neither, doesn’t time fly?

      Indeedy. :S Yayyyyyy! Now I just need to get to America… somehow. Hehee. I know what you mean, nothing really seems any different!

      Nooooo, not you too! Now I’m sad on both of our behalfs. This reading slump thing sucks. So sorry to hear you’ve been having health problems, life can be a real b* sometimes, I hope it gets its act together for you.

      SO GLAD YOU’RE FINALLY ON THE GoT BANDWAGON. Binge watching is the absolute best, can’t wait for the new series this April. 🙂

  11. (Totally late to the party on this as I haven’t been on WordPress properly in ages) but woooohoooo! on handing in your dissertation, mine went very similarly in terms of waking up and just thinking ‘more work!’ so I know how you feel. But I really enjoyed my subject so it wasn’t too terrible. I’m thinking about maybe posting mine on my blog in chunks like a series of articles, but I’m not too sure as it’s not music related. I also know what you mean about getting into a reading slump – my dissertation was exactly what led me to falling out of the reading habit. Oh, and congrats on turning 21 (I thought you’d taken the pic of the cocktails in a bar so well done, haha!)

    • Hahaa, thank you! It was such an awesome feeling to finally complete it. Yes, it does really drag down your mood after a while knowing you’re going to be facing weeks more of researching, ugh. I am glad that I enjoyed the topic I was working with though or it would have been pure torture. Like you say, it really helps to be doing something you’re interested in!

      Oooh, that’s interesting. The only thing I would worry about with that is plagiarism. Because of all the plagiarism check they do on your work, I would be worried they would somehow flag it up (highly unlikely though).

      Now that I’m finished I’m enjoying zooming through lots of books! Haha, thanks. 🙂

      • Yeah that’s always a bonus! If you don’t mind me asking, what did you write yours on?
        Hmm, that’s true, I graduated from uni a good 2 years ago now though so if anything I’d be worried about someone else trying to plagiarise it – I’ll see how I feel about that haha!
        I’ll bet! 🙂

      • My dissertation was all about personality (specifically introversion/extraversion) and its interplay with culture, aka if your personality matches the kind of stereotypical/expected kind of personality of your culture, do you have better well-being. So for instance, if you’re living in America and you’re outgoing, you’ll feel better because America is an outgoing kinda country and you’ll feel like you fit the cultural norm. If that makes sense?! That was the hypothesis anyway!

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