University: My Experience

A week ago, I donned my (uncomfortable) cap and gown and finally confirmed that three years of reading, writing essays and fretting about every minute was finally over.

I won’t lie to you, I’ve delayed writing this post because, whilst I’ve been celebrating completing my degree and beginning post grad life, I’m struggling to believe it’s over. Just like that.

Before I go into post grad meltdown, I’m going to share my uni experience with you.

It all started three years ago

In 2016, after surviving secondary school and somehow getting the grades I needed (anyone who knows me will know A-Level history was a nightmare for me and, I’m pretty sure, could’ve been the reason I didn’t get to uni), my time at Liverpool John Moores University began.

It was a strange thing. Up until that point, I’d gone through my education with my twin sister, so (even though she was only a street away at University of Liverpool) university marked the first time I was on my own, which was exciting and terrifying all at once.

Of course, I got into my work full swing. Soon, I was reading plenty of books every week, trying to write to academic standards and actually enjoying myself.

Despite finding the best group of friends in my final year of school, school itself was one of the worst times of my life. I hated how people treated me at times, I struggled with maths and I cried a lot. It was good to see, as I got into my first year, that all those annoying things about school hadn’t stuck around for uni.

I realised things about friendships

I was lucky in a way. Only a few of my friends chose to leave home and head to universities outside of Liverpool, so the friendship group I’d built up over the years stayed intact.

That being said, going to uni made me realise just how hard you have to work at friendships. As I hadn’t left home like most people on my course, I didn’t see making friends as a necessary part of my uni experience, so as people made lasting friendships and friends from home posted pictures of their new friends, I felt weird and isolated.

Except I realised two things as my time at uni crept on. 1. People are obviously going to show their best bits of uni (there’s no point in them posting about how much they hate Slaggy Sandra for not doing the dishes, really) 2. Just because I don’t see or talk to my friends as much, it doesn’t mean they like me or I like them any less.

Looking back for this post, though, I do wish I’d branched out a little bit. I made a few friends, but more “friends” in the sense I knew they’d sign me into lectures if I needed or they’d sit with me in lectures and seminars then we’d part ways until the next week of lectures. I suppose the good in this is the fact that I know I’ve got to work harder and be more present in my friendships.

It wasn’t all great

The small amount of research I’d done before uni was completely overshadowed by the books and movies I’d read and seen over the years. The picture of uni that painted was all parties, no work and having the best time of your adolescent life.

I didn’t go to parties a great deal. I went out a few times but, after a while, my social calendar dried up because everyone soon realised work had to be done. Society makes students out to be constantly drunk or hungover, not really focused and not really caring about their subject or career. That’s not true.

As much as I would’ve loved to party my nights away, I realised that I actually wanted to do well and- honestly- I preferred getting my essays done and chilling than going out and fretting about them over a Berocca and a hangover.

They don’t really ever speak about how stressful uni is, either. It’s all about “snowflakes” and “they won’t know true stress until they get into the workplace”. You’re not only carving out an identity, you’re balancing your personal life with uni life and attempting to produce work that lives up. It’s a lot of pressure, a lot of stress and I cried a lot more than I thought I would over essays and reading and uni life.

It wasn’t always the great time I’d been led to believe. Sometimes I had those moments where I thought I’m not cut out for this, I can’t do this. Of course, I stuck it out and- eventually- I proved that annoying part of me that said I couldn’t was wrong!

Writing my dissertation was harder than I thought

(I wrote about the dissertation writing process: 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| 6| 7| 8| 9| 10| 11| 12| 13)

I always knew I’d have to write 8,000 words at some point so the actual prospect of writing my dissertation wasn’t a surprise. The surprise was how hard all the writing, redrafting, referencing was.

Of course, by sheer miracle (and several library trips), I eventually completed my dissertation “An exploration of female madness in Jane Eyre and The Woman in White”.

I think, looking back on it, I would’ve done a few things differently. I would’ve planned better, consulted my advisor more and gone over the word count (understandable when my feedback was full of “this needs to be explained more”). That being said, I was happy with my mark in the end…and I was glad to see the back of it!

I don’t know what I’m doing afterwards

A common question you get asked in (and outside of) uni is “What are you going to do next?”. I didn’t know the answer before uni and, honestly, I don’t know now.

The only thing I do know is that I don’t want to be a teacher. Even though it’s the “common” thing for English grads to do, I’ve never seen the appeal and, frankly, I don’t think I’d be very good!

The goal, for now, is to get started on my novel. It’s something I’ve said I’d do for a while and, considering I have time on my hands, this is probably the best time to start.

Obviously, I’ll have to get a ‘real’ job because – as the many writers and journalists I’ve encountered during my degree have said- (for most of us) “writing doesn’t pay the bills”. So, after my holidays (I’m headed to Florida next week and Portugal after that with the girls), I’m going to get into looking for jobs, writing and finding more to do than relaxing and boxset binging.

I’m worried about the future, I’m not going to lie, but I’m just going to take every day as it comes.

University wasn’t everything I imagined. I didn’t come out with a handsome boyfriend who reads (priorities, eh?), or loads of edgy friends who write poetry. Instead, I came out with a first class degree, a group of friends who didn’t abandon me despite our busy lives, and more confidence in myself and my ability than before.

An accurate representation of how I’m adjusting to post grad life

The hat hair was strong on this one

Life after Uni: An Update

It only seems right that today, when the sun is out in full force and everything looks fresh and new, I come out of blogging-based hiding (which is definitely a thing) with this post.

This post has been in my drafts for a while, mainly because it was unwritten and, secondly, because writing what you’re about to read hasn’t actually sunk in.

In about two weeks (though my time keeping and maths are awful, so it could be less), I’ll officially have a degree in English. Now that sounds like nothing in the grand scheme of things but, considering there was a point where my parents were told (because my twin sister and I were born premature, and I had hydrocephalus, a condition which means that there’s a huge buildup of fluid on my brain) I wouldn’t be able to walk and talk etc, this is actually a major thing.

At first, I didn’t feel the sense of relief I thought I would or the sense of joy, either. The inevitable “what on Earth do I do next?” question hung over my head and I just felt unmotivated and bored.

Fast forward to now and it’s not as bad. Luckily, I secured a casual job working alongside a lovely group of staff at an event in Liverpool I otherwise would’ve missed (Gaia at Liverpool Cathedral, for those of you wondering) which was my first EVER job interview. Then, during that time, I managed to get an internship at uni which is me to a T (gathering quotes, collecting recipes and blogging about all things food and literature).

Of course, that big, scary question still hangs over me a little now and then. In amongst the panic, though, I realised I’m not the only one who doesn’t have a clue about post uni life but I’ll figure it out soon. For now, I’m just going to enjoy the summer, get back to blogging, reading and baking and enjoy whatever post grad life has in store for me.

Recent posts

Dissertation Diaries: March 2019

Dissertation Diaries: February 2019

Dating: My Experience

Dissertation Diaries: March 2019

Hello! Apologies for the lack of updates on my part (not just blogging wise, I’ve been so inactive on Twitter and Instagram too!) but I’ve been so busy dissertation-wise.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following the process, January was a write off month- I was going through a breakup and a rough patch, so I didn’t get much done at all. Fast forward to February and, luckily, I got my head out of the clouds and into my work.

Now, as for March. It hit me in late February that March was not only the last month I had to write an obscene amount of words but March meant I was handing my dissertation in in a month. So, I won’t lie, I was panicked.

That being said, I managed it! 8000 words of (hopefully) top quality were produced. Gone was the ramble about three novels, in its place more sophisticated rambling about two novels it’s safe to say I probably won’t read ever again!

I felt strange during this month though. I did a bit with friends but spending days cooped up over my laptop not only did my back in, it made me feel so incredibly disconnected from everything. I missed the lazy days over a box set, the drunken nights with friends, it made me wonder if I was actually somebody besides a stressed student who reads and writes essays pretty much 24/7.

Honestly, aside from referencing properly, if I’ve learnt anything from this process it’s that not every day is going to go well. Some days you’ll find all the secondary reading you wanted and other days you’ll be a blurry eyed mess at your computer screen, unable to make sense of what you’ve written. Now I’ve handed it in, the nervous wait for feedback begins. Of course I’ve got plenty of other things to do, so I’ll have forgotten about it by then…including getting this blog back to its best!

Dissertation Diaries entries:

One | Two | Three | Four |

Dissertation Diaries: February 2019

Hello! Again, I just want to apologise for my lack of posts. It’s not what I wanted but, honestly, third year has been a real kick up the arse so my focus has been on getting through it and not, as I would’ve liked, on posting content for all of you.

Unlike January, which seemed to take about 100 years to finish, February seemed to glide away in seconds.

In my January update, I talked about how a “glitch in my lovelife” meant I hadn’t got as far with my dissertation as I wanted to, which was incredibly annoying.

In terms of February, things have been better. I’ve spent a lot of time with friends, so it’s been the perfect way to get my mind of that person. As well as that, though, I’ve focused. I’ve been to the library, gathered information, started framing my argument better.

When I posted this entry, I had completed 2000 words (or just under, as a lot of that might be me planning what I want to say next underneath!) of my final project. Ok I still have 6000 to go (which is a lot, now I think about it), but I’m proud of what I’ve been writing so far…something I’m going to keep in mind so I can ace March and get it all done by the April deadline.

Dating: My Experience

Ah, Valentine’s Day, the one day in a year love is not only encouraged but capitalised through all things cringey (but cute). For many, myself included, Valentine’s Day is just a (not so gentle) reminder of our single status. Whilst I would’ve loved to be posting an update about how I spent my day with someone I love (beyond my family and my dog, which is getting a bit sad, honestly), I’m spending this Valentines Day (as with the previous ones as soon as I knew boys were a thing, I liked them and they didn’t appear to like me back…) part lamenting my current predicament and wishing I had someone to be cringey and cute with part telling myself being single is great and I ‘don’t need no man’ that isn’t trapped between the pages of paperback or on the other side of a TV screen…

What was funny about last Valentine’s Day though was the fact that I joined Tinder (an experience I wrote about here), a swarm of single (and more than ready to mingle) people looking for love or whatever else they can get. Whilst it was for research, joining Tinder also gave me the confidence I needed (and didn’t have) when it came to dating. I went to an all-girls Catholic secondary school, so the only experience of boys I had was seeing them through the fence whenever we had PE and marveling at the strange creatures (only because I’d do anything to not have to participate in sports).

I won’t lie to you..I thought, when I went to uni, I’d meet someone and fall hopelessly in love. Of course, that didn’t happen. Part because (being an English student) my course is female-dominated and part because- even minus the school uniform and plus some confidence- I hadn’t exactly plucked up the courage to talk to boys and, equally, convince them I was worth talking to.

Rather than dwell (too much) about my current relationship status (or, more specifically, lack of one), I’m going to share with you my dating experience and everything I’ve learned (and am learning) along the way.

It all started early 2018

It began as an investigative piece for a student website I’ve written for since my first year of uni, pondering what Tinder would be like on the most loved up (or, well, thirstiest) day of the year.

Turns out, Tinder was full of thirsty people (as suspected) but, in amongst the people who quite clearly want you for sex, there have actually been a few nice people.

As much as this was to dip my toe into writing more exciting pieces, joining Tinder was actually the thing I needed. I’d spent a long time wallowing in self pity because I was one of the only people in my group of friends without a boyfriend and, rather than accept it’s because I haven’t met the right person, it made me feel like it was me who was in the wrong.

I learnt that, actually, there’s nothing wrong with me. People swiped in my favour, chatted and told me I was pretty…something I wasn’t used to but it made me realise that, despite the belief I had in my head, somebody could actually like me at that kind of level.

Dating is strange

I’m a romantic, I won’t lie. I wanted the guy who holds the doors for you, awkwardly pushes your chair out before you sit, the one the movies and books tell you about. I wanted the cute first date, then the second, then the third..then the rest.

“Dating wasn’t the vision I saw from behind the rose tinted glasses”

Of course, this whole new experience has been an eye opener. I knew from the first date I went on, with the first guy I’d spoken to on Tinder, dating wasn’t the vision I saw from behind the rose tinted glasses. On my first date, I was late (thanks to traffic), nervous (so I had to wee practically as soon as I arrived) and awkward (I spilled my drink on myself in the first five minutes, which is one way to break the ice…at least).

It still went on without any horror stories, the guy (we’ll call him Z, just in case he unearths this blog and finds this post) wasn’t crazy, Z and I talked and- to my knowledge- it was a good time. It was only until the night rolled around and he messaged me “I don’t want to continue this” as he had uni work to do and would be heading back to Lincoln soon, anyway, that I realised it might not have been as good as I thought.

Fast forward a few months later and T came along. We talked a lot and I liked him, he was tall, friendly and we had quite a bit in common. So we went out and our “coffee and a walk around” turned into me not just smashing the daily step count, but doing laps around the town centre..twice. That should have been enough to put me off but, a while later, I went on a second date with him. Aside from realising (or, well, confirming) that I’m horrendous at mini-golf, I realised something else from the date

“You can go on another date, and another but there’s no point trying to force something you’re not feeling”

Needles to say, we both weren’t “feeling” it by the end of the date and (after an awkward bus ride home, in total silence) we just cut ties. It was sad, but I think we both realised we weren’t for each other and, you know what, that’s okay.

It took a while but (I thought) the ideal person for me came along

A while after Z and T were out of the picture, I started talking to O. I loved getting to know someone again and I really liked that we both liked movies (even if he did like Nicolas Cage), music and dogs.

We talked for a long time before we decided to meet up and, at first, I worried that the flowing conversation would just stop in person. Turns out, it didn’t. Even though I was late and it was raining, the date managed to go pretty well. He wasn’t an axe-wielding psychopath, he wasn’t 20 years older than he said he was, he was just an ordinary person who laughed at my (not always funny) jokes and we talked for hours.

We had a less than romantic first kiss after that (even if I, awkwardly, thought he was going in for a hug!) and I was surprised to find later, after fretting so much, he wanted to see me again.

We saw each other several times after that and I liked unpicking details about him, hanging out with him and (eventually) I even liked kissing him.

“Maybe I wasn’t crazy to think this (he) could be it”

Turns out, after seeing him six times, I found out he wasn’t “it”. The connection we’d built up over the few months we’d been seeing each other felt like something, except he never mentioned committing and (for a time) I was too nervous to. I’d noticed the connection started to fade out during Christmas and New Year, when he went home and we hadn’t seen each other for a long time. After brunch, I took the plunge and asked him the question “Where are we going?”. It was a big moment, the kind of moment you leave your phone against your chest and wait all nervous to find out the result. Turns out, he wasn’t looking for a relationship. The impression I had of him, and his intentions, had been wrong. So I cut ties, declined his friendship and went back to wallowing.

You’re allowed to not be okay

It doesn’t matter whether something lasts five days or five months, you’re allowed not to be okay. You’re allowed (as I did after O) to cry your heart out, to listen to stupid cliche songs, to let yourself feel whatever you want to feel. Whether you get to a relationship or not, any kind of “break-up” is horrible.

Unlike the other matches and dates who fizzled out over time, what happened with O really got to me. Some days I want to message him and see how he is, because I miss the connection we had, but I decided not to do this for me. I know if I start talking to him again, I’ll only want it to be like when we were dating. I won’t want him to talk to me like a friend, I’ll want him to say all the nice things he’s probably saying to someone else to me. It’s hard because, even though I look back fondly over that time, it did knock my confidence more than I expected.

I’m worthy of love

The most important lesson I’ve learned from my dating experience (so far) is that I’m worthy of love. I’m more confident after my dates, I know I can actually talk to boys. I spend a lot of my time self deprecating and thinking X/Y/Z is better looking/funnier/nicer but, you know what, I need to tell myself I’m those things as well.

Dating hasn’t been easy, but branching out and letting people get to know me has made me more confident. I haven’t got what I wanted out of this kind of dating but, if being more confident is all I get, I’m ok with that. Just because it hasn’t come from the few people I’ve seen, the love I deserve will come from someone.

So, whilst I’m spending Valentine’s Day without that special someone, I know that won’t be the case forever.

(If you’re a nice guy who likes dogs, movies and doesn’t mind dating a blogger who bakes…)

I hope, how ever you’re spending the day, it’s a lovely one.

Dissertation Diaries: January 2019

Hello! I can only apologize for my lack of posts over the past few weeks. As suspected, uni work got the best of me. I’m two weeks in the second semester of my final (yes, final) year of uni and…honestly? I’m completely over it and determined to do my best and absolutely smash my final months of reading, writing and hard work..if it’s possible to be both at the same time.

So, after what felt like an 800 day January for me (anyone else?), a new month finally looms. A new month of reading, working, new possibilities and, perhaps the most horrendous part,  I find myself a month closer to the dreaded deadline for the even more dreaded 8000 word dissertation.

In terms of my Dissertation Diaries, I’m not planning weekly updates. I think, rather than spend time writing down what I have (or haven’t) done, I’d like to get on with actually doing the work and- like this post now- I’ll update you guys how much progress I’ve made taking the whole month into account.

January. How does a month feel like it goes on for hundreds of years and be over in a breath at the same time? I wished when I created this draft in December I could be writing something much more different…but I’m not.

As far as my dissertation goes in January…it hasn’t really gone anywhere. If I had to make an excuse for it, I suppose I was enjoying myself too much. I was enjoying the feeling of getting to know someone, dating and then- in a complete change to billed programmes- I was single, moping and back where I started…trawling through Tinder and completely unmotivated.

The glitch in my love life isn’t all to blame for my lack of motivation though, I suppose I was enjoying the long time I had off before (I knew) the hard work started again.

I’m not going to be disheartened, though, because February is a new month (plus I suppose I’ll thank myself later I went into the months leading up to my dissertation submission without a distraction). I’ve already got my head down and, at least for the moment, I feel good about where I’m going with my dissertation.

Name_ Section_

Dissertation Diaries entries:

one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine / ten

Recent posts:

Dissertation Diaries: 3 Months to Go

Dissertation Diaries: Getting back into the swing of things

 

 

 

Dissertation Diaries: Getting back into the swing of things

Hello! I hope you all had a great weekend. My weekend was food filled and it wasn’t shy of great company. I returned back to reality today (realising I can’t spend every day a. eating the delicious pancakes I had yesterday and b. ignoring the fact that second semester is a thing and this “thing” starts Tuesday). I also, annoyingly, can’t spend all my time ignoring my dissertation…

So, that’s why I’m back with another entry in my Dissertation Diaries (here’s the previous one). 

In my last post, I spoke about the fact that it’s 3 months to go until my dissertation has to be handed in and, honestly, I feel horrible about it. I’ve been so unmotivated over Christmas and New Year, and since I got my first feedback from my advisor. Luckily, since then, I’ve been proactive. I’ve managed to get books I need from the library, read through them and fish out details I need. Plus, I’ve narrowed down my extremely wide argument to two chapters on theory, then the rest on the two novels themselves.

I’m by no means in a good place with my dissertation but, with my Mondays and Fridays lecture free, I have time (plus weekends) to crack on.

I’m just focusing on the end result. Eventually, 8000 perfectly crafted words will be printed and bound and I can let out that sigh of relief. It’s a scary thought and an even scarier feeling knowing how much I have to do from now to April but it’s all the motivation I need.

jenrosewrites (1)

DISSERTATION DIARIES ENTRIES:

one | two |three | four | five | six |seven | eightnine

RECENT POSTS:

Hello 2019 (a.k.a my return to blogging and a LONG update)

Dissertation Diaries: 3 Months to Go

 

Dissertation Diaries: 3 Months to Go

Hello!

Apologies for the lack of entries in my Dissertation Diaries series of posts. I’ve been super busy over Christmas and going into the New Year…just not “busy with dissertation reading or writing” kind of busy.

(You can find out just what I’ve been busy doing in my recent update!)

I’ve had two 2,500 word essays to write over the holidays, so my attention has been (and still is) on them- curse uni and post-Christmas deadlines! This has meant I haven’t concentrated on my dissertation quite as much as I hoped I would.

Starting next week, though, I’ll be focusing more because (if you can’t tell by this entry’s title) my dissertation needs to be done in three months. I’ve been relatively stress free going through uni, minus pre-essay submission panics, but writing a dissertation is actually pretty stressful. My feedback wasn’t too fantastic so, based on that alone, I know a lot of tweaking needs to be done.

I’m not really a resolutions person but, in terms of uni, my aim is to absolutely smash my remaining work, including my dissertation.

It’s scary because I keep doubting myself and my writing, and I love the comfortable bubble of neglecting my uni work and growing as a person. Yet, in doing uni and this final piece, I’m showing how much I’ve grown. I’m no longer the shy shell, used to people not knowing my name. I mean people don’t know my name even now, when I don’t have a smaller, skinnier surname sharer around to confuse people (I still think we look nothing alike) but I’m more confident in myself and- I hope- in 3 months time I’ll be happy for my name to be on this piece of work, showing how much I’ve worked my arse off!

Hello 2019 (a.k.a my return to blogging and a LONG update)

So here we are: 2019.. It’s crazy how fast the years go! As far as last year went (saying ‘last year’ rather than ‘this year’ with regards to 2018 will be a difficult one for me!), it wasn’t a bad year.

I started my third year of uni and, I won’t lie, it wasn’t as easygoing as the two previous years. I was by no means expecting a walk in the park but what I did get was a marathon in the park…except I’ve never been to this park and, even better, it’s pitch black.

(Ah humanities students and their analogies..)

I’ve had a few shocks in terms of results (not that I’ve done badly, just my grades are lower than the previous years and the actual marking process feels harsher) and, I’m not surprised about this one, I found out that writing a dissertation is actually incredibly difficult (apologies for not posting my Dissertation Diaries for a while, I’m in the process of getting my head around it again after some less than pleasing feedback from my advisor- but I will be posting updates throughout 2019 so keep an eye out!). Other than that, though, I remind myself often that I love my course and, in a matter of months it’ll all be over so the main goal uni-wise (other than getting my dissertation and assignments done) is to make my last few months count. It’ll mean studying hard, actually going to the library (not just to enjoy my meal deal and/or bitch about uni or whatever else I can think of with friends) and not letting myself listen to the little voice in the back of my mind that says, every so often, “you can’t do this”. I can and I will.

I also, as people reading this will know, started blogging in August of last year and- honestly- I’m loving it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a few moments were I’ve thought “I’ll never be like x blogger, so what’s the point of blogging?/ I’ll never be as successful as x blogger, so what’s the point of blogging?” but I have ways of getting around those thoughts (which might just be useful for anyone else feeling the same as, honestly, a lot of us bloggers will feel this at some point). All members of the blogging community are different and that’s so cool, just because I’m not like ‘X’ doesn’t make me any less than them (or them any less than me). The point of blogging isn’t to be like an ‘X’, it’s to be YOU. I’m not going to lie, my dream is to be a writer. Full time. So, as much as blogging is me showcasing what I love and little pockets of me on the internet, I’m hoping blogging will open doors for me as a writer.

Through this platform alone, though I’ve encourted loads of amazing bloggers on Twitter,   I’ve found loads of successful bloggers with blogs littered with sponsored posts, reviewing brand-spanking new books and- as much as I’m happy for them- my heart aches. I hate admitting it, but I’m a jealous person. It’s not a trait I’m proud of but some days I can’t escape it, seeing people get to where I want to be makes me want to close my blog, retreat to the safety of my bed and never return. Of course, with it being a new year, I’m hoping blog based jealousy will be a thing of the past. I’m incredibly proud of lovely people, and brilliant writers, getting their chance in such a competitive industry. So, rather than hang up my blogging hat and go full Green Eyed Monster, I’m going to celebrate other people’s achievements, work hard on my own writing and maybe my chance will come. 

As well as this, my ‘love life’ had a upgrade! Followers of the blog will probably have seen the word ‘Date’ dotted around several posts, referring to a guy I’d been seeing since November 2018. Regarding that, I guess I’ll just wait and see what 2019 holds for us, but I’ve really liked going on dates (even if they’ve all involved me talking absolute rubbish, so I sort of feel sorry for the poor guy!) and getting to know someone on a level I wasn’t sure I ever would. As much as I’m thankful for people who’ve stuck around for years, I’m thankful for him because I’ve not met someone who I feel so comfortable in their company for a long time (if he ever reads this I’m going to get so much stick 🙄).

(Anyway that cringey bits over)

In terms of 2019, I’m not going to bother with standard resolutions. More often than not, they don’t work. Instead I’m sticking to three things: Be happy, be healthy, be kind. I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings for me (and the blog) and I wish each and every one of you the best 2019.

Dissertation Diaries: Drafts and Deadlines

Hello! I hope everyone’s had a pleasant week and weekend. I spent mine part stressing about upcoming assignments (two on the week we finish semester one? Cheers uni, that’s very kind. NOT.), part getting the assignments actually done and (most importantly) I enjoyed the company of family I hadn’t seen in a while, celebrated my Dad’s birthday and danced the night away to Miles Kane (which was, in part, ruined by someone pouring their drink down me mid-gig!).

I’m hoping from next week (as I’m finished for this part of the year), I can post more on this blog. Maybe something Christmassy, hopefully the follow-up to this. For now, though, here’s my annual Dissertation related update.

As you’ll know, if you’ve been keeping up with my Dissertation Diaries posts (onetwothreefourfive, six, seven), I am now well and truly into it. My proposal has been marked, I’ve met with my advisor and today I completed my 2000 word draft chapter due on Friday.

Very productive, right?

I feel a bit of both about it, which basically means I feel good that I’m getting bits done with my dissertation and I’m feeling productive. It’s just…I’m worried that what I am producing is just, to phrase like a A-level teacher might’ve done, waffle.

Though it felt horrible getting 2000 words done, I’m looking at this positively. In a way, this is a good thing. I’m 2000 words into my dissertation, so only 6000 words need to be done after this (which is still a lot, but it’s less than when I started and 8000 words was such a daunting target), minus tweaks. Plus, getting feedback from my advisor will mean that either I can carry on writing how I am, which is great, or I just need to make changes. Either way, I’ll have a clearer idea of where my argument is going to go.

It’s just a shame that all I want to do at the moment is be cosy and work-free with a Christmas film on…is it acceptable to do just that in January/February onwards?

Asking for a friend (ok…me).