Dissertation is done and dusted – Today is a good day!
Despite being in lockdown due to the coronavirus, I am trying to stay focused and achieve so I can complete all my assignments, get closure and move on to the next chapter of my life. Unfortunately, we have been told there won’t be a graduation ceremony until next Summer. But, when we get our final grades, we are thinking of holding a zoom GLADuation ceremony; GLAD we made it through 4 years of higher education! A chance to celebrate our successes and achievements and the fact we managed to stick it out for four years. We did not quit.
I am feeling particularly happy as I have just uploaded the electronic copy of my dissertation which researched the experiences of mature students in higher education. I discovered there is a high drop out rate of mature students and it is no surprise why. Many have other demanding responsibilities to juggle alongside studying for a degree that often impact on learning and experiences. However, I will spare you an indepth review of my 10,000 word dissertation, but just wanted to express my admiration for anyone who successfully juggles life and uni. I know it is not easy. Life happens and sometimes when it is least convenient. I also want to show my admiration for those who enrol but don’t see the course through to the end. At least you tried and were partially successful. Partial successes should be celebrated too. Maybe there will be a future opportunity to return to higher education or maybe there won’t. But at least you have had the opportunity and the experience.
Before the degree, the word dissertation had a power. It seemed like a massive task one has to accomplish in order to get the degree. However, my dissertation supervisor was awesome. Because he broke everything into chapters, it did not feel like an overwhelming project. It was just a series of essays. He gave me deadlines and held me accountable and for that I am truly grateful. It motivated me to succeed. Yes, sometimes it meant me pulling an ‘all-nighter’ but it was worth it. Clicking the submit button on Tabula to upload the assignment was so satisfying. All that hard work, done and dusted.
This is how I broke down my dissertation project:
The first draft of the literature review chapter was done by the end of November.
Methodology chapter was completed by January, and survey responses were gathered by the end of January.
Data analysis, results and discussion was the largest chapter, was done in February and March and the introduction, conclusion, appendices and further editing, critical analysis, proof reading and polishing were all done in March and April.
I usually get to saturation point where I am sick of looking at my work. Then I take a deep breath and let it go. Fingers crossed. I think the worst thing is waiting for the results, because I never know how well I have done until I get the grades back. Unfortunately, because of coronavirus malarkey, all deadlines have kindly been put back two weeks while we adjust to a new way of living and working. However, this now means we have to wait two weeks longer for our results. Ho hum.
Anyway, hope this helps break down something seemingly insurmountable into manageable chunks.
Remember you can achieve anything as long as you don’t quit and you only miss out on 100% of chances you don’t take.
Onwards and funwards xXx