Wednesday 10 January 2024

Dissertation Stress As Deadlines Approach

Amber shares her tips on how to avoid dissertation stress as it gets closer to the panic period!

- Amber

With the final year we can expect a little bit of stress. However, with the added dissertation we must come to adapt to more stress that will become familiar to us. This does not mean it is something to avoid though! It is a combination of our previous years of hard work and research finally combined into a project that we created and came to love despite all of the stress. Here are some tips on how to navigate this time!  

Initial Overwhelm

Starting your dissertation can be overwhelming, the thought of retrieving and analysing data AND writing about it can leave any student feeling intimidated. Remember that this is a normal feeling and you are not alone! Other people will be feeling this too. One way to help tackle this feeling is to break down the dissertation into smaller steps. Create a timeline! This can help you keep track of things and make it seem less daunting.  

Planning is key

A dissertation can seem like a huge chunk of work, which is A LOT, so breaking it down into small pieces can make it seem a lot more manageable. A well-thought-out plan can help with any feelings of overwhelm. Start by outlining your research questions and objectives and continue to plan from there. Include steps such as literature reviews, data collection and analysis. By having a clear plan with smaller goals it can help you see the progress you are making and keep you more organised.  

Use the resources around you

As a final year student, you will have loads of resources and supplies that can help you with your dissertation! Use the library and the online resources that you may have overlooked before. Take advantage of these things, they can provide good guidance and interesting angles for your work that you may have not considered before. Also, make use of your supervisor! Arrange meetings with them and ask them for advice, as well as your peers! You are all going through the same process so some friendly support can go a long way.  Completing a dissertation can be a lengthy and stressful process but it will all be worth it in the end. Remember that you are not alone and there is support there for if/when you need it! This is a rewarding experience that can show off your skills and knowledge. Stay focused, and motivated and you will emerge from this experience stronger than you are now!

Whether you are looking for support for your own mental health at university or supporting a friend, help is available.

I'm Amber, a third-year undergrad student studying psychology, psychotherapy and counselling. I have recently started my dissertation and am experiencing some stress surrounding it, however, I have found some ways to manage this and hope to share them with others who feel the same way.

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