August Thoughts

Dearest blog, we meet again… at the time we usually meet:  when I am struggling to write my dissertation.  I find blogging and writing creatively often helps me to write academically, so here I am.

I simply cannot accept the fact that it is the 1st of August. How did this happen?! Time is flying faster than usual and if it’s true that time flies quicker the older you get, I cannot imagine what life is going to be like when I’m a whole lot older.

I’m not ready for it to be August for a few major reasons:

  • This is my last official month of being a student and therefore, life as I know it will never be the same once August is over.  As much as I am ready to be rid of the stress that comes with being a student, I am not ready for such a big change and will never be ready to give up my ever-changing, flexible schedule that is always full of variety.
  • My dissertation is officially due this month, need I say more?   This is the most terrifying sentence I have ever typed! It is going well but is naturally causing me lots of stress and is eating up all of my energy. Summer college classes are not a thing here in Ireland and it’s getting old trying to explain to people how this summer is the most stressful time of my student life. “But aren’t you supposed to be on holidays?” NO! “Well, you deserve a holiday when you finish!” … If only I could afford one!
  • I am not ready to be 28.  I am very, very excited (and blessed) to be celebrating my birthday in Oxford with my life wife at the end of this month, but I am not ready to say goodbye to 27, my golden year. Twenty-eight just seems so much older. I still feel like a 14 year old a lot of the time. I am currently reading the book “The Defining Decade:  Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now” by Dr. Meg Jay and, while it is incredibly insightful and parts of it make me feel so much better about myself, I do wish I had discovered this book in my younger twenties and find myself wondering and worrying about the state of my life. Having said this, if you are a twenty-something, read this book now!! I cannot recommend it enough.
  • When August is over, I am officially facing the dreaded unknown. I will be in a major transition period and, while I know I will still be living in Dublin, I have no idea what I’ll be doing for work next month and if I’ll even have a job.

Procrastinating going to the library to work on my dissertation by colouring

I must say, one positive thing about being a Master’s student trying to finish her dissertation is the ability and excuse to justify anything. Even though I’m as poor as they come, I can easily justify a take-away coffee every day and the occasional (but more occasional than normal) treat… because I’m finishing my dissertation and will do whatever it takes. Whatever gets me through!

Who knows where I’ll be in a month’s time. It’s terrifying but also a bit exciting. We all go through these major transition periods and I do have faith that whatever is meant to happen, will.

Are you going through a transition period right now? Tell me about it in a comment!

Positive Outlook

I’ve decided to take a new mental approach to my life as it is now, specifically in regards to being a student.  I officially only have 7 months left of being a student and the realisation of that is actually devastating.

Let’s face it:  being a student is stressful.  Very stressful.  Deadlines, starting over and finding your groove once again every time you start a new chapter, editing, reading a whole bunch of information your brain refuses to process, paraphrasing, referencing, not to mention the financial aspect of being a student.


Surrounded by dissertations – intimidating!

However, I’ve recently realised it’s less stressful (or maybe just a different type of stress) than “real life”.  I’ve recently started to appreciate the variety being a student brings to my life.  Two days a week, I work at my part-time job.  One day a week, I do work experience.  Three days a week, I am in the library with the flexibility of being able to take a lunch break whenever I want and for as long as I want, as well as take a coffee break to meet a friend if I should so desire.

In seven months time, I am hoping to finally be working in my chosen field, which is amazing and scary at the same time.  In the mean time, I am going to enjoy the routine I have now, because the variety and flexibility is pretty amazing.  Life is pretty amazing.

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!