It doesn’t seem like yesterday that I was turning up to my first “ice breaker” session in my first year. When they say icebreaker they mean humiliate yourself in front of people you are going to spend the next 3-4 years with, in the attempt that one of them will like you! Looking back I was so young and naive about the mountain that I would have to climb in the future. I was lucky enough to manage to bag myself a placement in the third year so I got to work and earn money for a year and include that in my course. It was at this point where I lived with a lot of final year students and got the chance to mock and laugh at them while they stressed, struggled and in one case cried over their dissertations. Looking back I really shouldn’t have because 5 months later I am staring mine in the face and I already want the ground to swallow me up.
I have a lot of electives on my course, so I have a lot of freedom to choose what modules I get to do, a dissertation being one of them! Which meant that a lot of people that I spoke to were asking me “Why the hell would you choose to do a dissertation?” this was often coupled with a look that seemed to suggest I needed to be locked away in the nearest facility with a top of the range padded cell. I just used to brush this off by saying that I wanted to do one. It’s only now that I realise how far I am inevitably going to fall during the process of writing it. I’ve seen people at their worst and I’ve also seen the people who have kept calm the whole way of writing it (There is a special name for these people but I’m keeping this post PG).
I keep being told that after it is all finished I will never forget the experience, that’s probably because I’ll be in therapy or need help for a severe caffeine addiction, but I will feel a sense of self achievement. Which ultimately is what my whole university career has been built on, not on getting a degree but the warm feeling I get just after submitting an assignment. That feeling not of triumph but of, “Finally I can to sleep!”. So I do understand that afterwards I may feel that my whole university life has been building up to this one enormous stack of paper, and afterwards there will be a massive weight off of my shoulders. But right now as I slowly build a small nest in the library for me to have a mental breakdown in, I feel that there is no life after these 10,000 words, let alone a future after uni.