23:56

My dissertation has been handed in, the warm sunshine is making constant reappearances, and my parents are visiting me in Edinburgh next week. There is little that can bring my mood down now!

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01:27

I just finished writing my dissertation. Nothing else matters right now!

12, 611 words.

Currently waiting for my precious proof readers to get back to me then I can print, bind and hand in this piece of work! 4 years of hard work all amounted to this moment. Excuse me while I cry internally!

22:11

In less than one month my university life will be over. In one month I will have no more deadlines and my degree will be over. My 4 years of studying at university will have finished!

My last lecture is tomorrow and after that I will only be in university to meet with my supervisor, and to hand in my essays and dissertation. The end is near! This last year of university has gone by phenomenally quickly! In one month’s time all my hard work will have come to an end. This is both an exciting and scary thought, but I look forward to what the future brings!

00:23

‘The reasons we procrastinate are due to either fear, uncertainty, and/or having a perfectionist attitude’

Psych 2 Go

As much as I want to believe that having a perfectionist attitude is why I put off writing my 12,000 word dissertation draft, it really is not the reason. Through the course of today I have written 3275 words, and I have two more days to complete it. I know I can get it done and refining it will take some time too. General laziness plus a recent bout of sore throat and coughing made me put off my dissertation more.

I see this as the home stretch to the end of my 4 years of studying. I am almost there! 2 more months and I will be free!

00:14

I recently conducted my first interview with a participant for my Honours Project! The whole interview was recorded on an audio recorder and I just finished transcribing it. Listening to my own voice was a strange process of thoughts like, ‘Do I really sound like this?’ and feelings of intense embarrassment arose.

There are a few things I realised from conducting my interview and a few improvements I want to make for my next one.

  1. I ‘umm’ and ‘ahh’ quite a bit.
  2. I tend to lift the tone of the end of my sentences.
  3. I use the word ‘like’ as a filler word.
  1. The ‘umm-ing’ and ‘ahh-ing’ comes from a lack of rehearsal in my questions and the internal changing of formal wording into an informal one. Next time I want to be more practised in asking questions and know what I am talking about. Also I want to be able to come across as confident in asking questions.
  2. This is something which has been pointed out by another one of my university tutors. She said that (during my presentation) I made the end of my sentences higher in tone than the rest, which suggested I was questioning the fact. Of course when asking questions, it is supposed to sound like a question, so the lift at the end is perfectly okay. However, in other contexts it is not. I think that it links back to the lack of confidence and rehearsal in point 1. I subconsciously doubt myself and question it, which comes out in my speech. I aim to correct this by my next interview.
  3. This is one of my pet peeves yet I do it myself. Listening back to the audio recording was like torturing myself. In almost every pause or gap in speech, I inserted a ‘like’. It is so unnecessary and adds no value whatsoever. I tend to use it more when I am trying to explain something which is something I need to do in my interviews, so I need to stop this habit. My boyfriend advised me not to be scared of taking pauses in speech as it is not awkward if there is a gap in the middle of a sentence. I aim to cut out the use of the word ‘like’ as a filler, not just for the purposes of these interviews but for my speech in general.

23:13

I was speaking to my cousin recently about my studies and the following phrase came up in conversation:

‘We’re all proud of you.’

This was such a genuine and unexpected surprise, and a lovely one at that. Never have I thought in my 3.5 years of studying that other people would be proud of my achievements and my efforts in education, so it was really encouraging to hear those words.

Usually when I come home for the holidays people will ask me how my studies are going and I will answer simply and succinctly. However when my cousin asked me she delved a little deeper and took interest in my studies, and in my upcoming dissertation.  Having been through the university system herself, she knows the struggles of being a student and the workload that comes with it.

I really appreciate these words from my cousin and I will cherish them when I feel stressed and under pressure.

23:19

Tomorrow will be my last academic assessment of 2014!

It will also be the day I get my Honours Project ethics application form signed and sent off (hopefully for the final time) so I can conduct my interviews in the new year.

Anyone who has been through the university process will know the struggles and stress that students face towards the end of term. They will also know the relief and excitement that comes from knowing there is a well deserved break at the end of the year.

When I go back to university in January I will have just under 4 months to conduct 6 qualitative interviews then write a 12, 000 word long dissertation on it all. University life, huh?

Hurry up, 11:30am! Exam finishing time!

23:35

My poster presentation on my Honours Project went smoothly today, thank God.

The whole session was really informal where posters from a variety of courses were stuck around the room, and staff and students had a chance to look at everyone’s projects. It was a valuable learning process and I am very glad it was not a formal oral presentation in front of the class. Another thing ticked off my list this week!

There is hope yet.

23:45

1645/2000 words of my project proposal done. Slow but steady progress is better than none.

The more I think about it, the more I panic. The more I panic, the more worked up I get about not being able to finish it on time. My solution? Do not think; just do!

Nevertheless; I will get there! I have enough sleepless or late nights under my belt to be able to handle a few more this week.