Student Stress

I am the world’s worst postgraduate student. I am currently sat in the library on my college campus. Instead of writing my literature review for my dissertation, I decided to Google “I hate writing literature reviews” and read experiences of others who hate this process as much as I do. Could I be any more unproductive if I tried?! In addition to that distraction, I always seem to be very motivated to blog when I am supposed to be in academia-mode. *insert smirk here*

The purpose of this (mostly pointless) blog post is so I have a reference in one year’s time and beyond. I want to remind myself of the extreme stress I am under when, after I graduate, I think to myself “I think I’d like to go back to college to get another degree” or “I miss being a student”. There are a lot of things I will miss about being a student: namely 1) a major excuse to not work full-time/not have to enter the “real world” (I really enjoy the variety of student work + a part-time job) and 2) student discounts. However, I refuse to miss the constant stress and pressure I always seem to put on myself… not to mention LITERATURE REVIEWS. I am not exaggerating when I say that phrase alone makes me physically nauseated. There is so much information and research out there and I find it very difficult to focus and narrow my reading. When I try to write, I can’t because I have too much floating in my brain and I become very overwhelming and nervous. I also have a way of making everything overly difficult for myself. My flatmate K does, too – this is one of the many reasons we get on so well. I’ve managed to choose a topic that would work very well as a Ph.D. topic, but not so much as a Master’s topic! It’s good to be ambitious, right? (The correct answer is: no, not in this situation!)

Colourful breakfast at Brother Hubbard. This was a great start to a day spent in the library!

Colourful breakfast at Brother Hubbard. This was a great start to a day spent in the library!

My goal is to (start and) finish my lit review before I go home at the beginning of December. I am the world’s slowest writer and truly do not think I can conquer this in 6 weeks, but I really am going to try my best. I’m quite excited for what comes after the lit review: my actual study and the post write-up! I realise I may not be as excited during the actual process, but I can’t imagine it’s as bad as the LR.

If you’re reading this and have unique lit review tips – please leave them in the comments! This is the first proper full lit review I’ve ever had to write and I cannot wait until it’s over.

I promise the next post is going to be Iceland, days 5 & 6!

Winter Thoughts

It finally happened. I never thought it would.

Every single Irish person I know repeatedly told me it would eventually happen to me, but I was adamant in my denial.

I am dreading the Irish winter.

I had to write this brief blog post for two reasons: 1) because I am currently procrastinating my dissertation research and 2) to mark that this is the exact moment my feelings about the Irish weather changed. I suppose this means I’ve become more Irish in my ways. The Irish love nothing more than to talk and complain about the weather. I used to love the rain and never minded the fact that we rarely see sun in winter. (Clarification: I never enjoyed the extreme, heavy rain – but, compared to Florida, it rarely rains very hard here. It’s usually a very light, misty rain and I used to find it refreshing.)

I took this photo this morning and didn't edit it at all. Beautiful autumn day in Dublin!

I took this photo this morning and didn’t edit it at all. Beautiful autumn day in Dublin!

We’ve had the most enjoyable weather the past two weeks (with the exception of the past two days). It has been extremely sunny and I’ve really felt the need to enjoy it while it’s here because I know it won’t last. The past two days were a reminder of that. We had the typical misty “Irish rain” and last night when I was walking home from my bus stop, a 10 minute walk, I arrived home with a soaking wet face from the very light rain. This was actually the first time I didn’t enjoy it.

I loved winter my first year in Ireland. I adored the rain, the sun-less days, the cold and even the wind. I suppose I enjoyed it because it was so different from Florida. Couldn’t be more different, actually. During my second year in Ireland, I didn’t mind winter at all. I mostly loved it. Now, going into my third Irish winter, I am not looking forward to it. The combination of the crazy, bone-chilling winds and the rain and no sun is what (finally) gets me about the Irish winter. I don’t mind the cold. Being away from Florida for so long has made me realise I really love (and need) the sun, but I do not miss the heat or humidity at all. I know I never will.

I hate to be full of complaints and would like it to be known that winter isn’t all bad. Among the things I enjoy about winter: tea is more enjoyable, wearing living in my onesie, sweating less, less tourists (therefore Dublin is less crowded, with the exception of holiday shopping time), wearing sweaters and cosy outfits and having an excuse to eat more “because I need the extra layer of fat to keep me warm”. I simply wish I had a fireplace at home to enjoy.

Having said all of this, I still love Ireland as much as ever and it still feels like home. I’m just hoping for a record-breaking sunny winter. I know my odds aren’t good!