Hey guys,

So today I thought I would share with you some tips that I have found worked for me to stay relatively calm during the dissertation year. You can also use these for both essays and exams and I hope they help you.

Have a clear plan on what you are doing
For a long while I was actually confused on what direction my dissertation was heading. I was changing my mind constantly due to my supervisors suggestions and I found myself struggling to get off the ground with what I wanted to do. However I decided to sort it out myself and created a plan, I brainstormed all the ideas that had been chucked at me and it was a great way to find if you love an idea or not as you keep going back towards it. After this, I emailed my supervisor, told him what I was doing and he liked it.

Do a little everyday
This one works for me so much. I have the worst attention span ever and I have found that if you know what the deadline day is, you can plan to do a little everyday. This slowly builds up without you even realising and before you know it, a whole essay or even information for exams has been done and you haven't totally just sat and stared at words for a whole ten hours while distracting yourself.

Photo courtesy of DeathToTheStockPhoto || Quote on the picture done by me.

Do headings on essays
I have to do a journal article and I have found with all essays throughout my three years that headings are key. Before you even write a title and your name, do headings on what you want to include. This just instantly organises what needs to be written in and you feel less scattered as you have a clear path on what to do and talk about.

Take breaks
Honestly, it won't be the end of the world if you have a little break. Make a cup of tea or coffee and then get back to it. Just sit and relax and you will find that your mind will be slightly clearer and you will become focused. So many mistakes I have made is due to me just powering through. Just make sure your break doesn't last forever and you will be fine.

Get friends involved.
So I get that this point isn't for everyone but this one helps me so much. Me and my best friend always do our uni work together (obviously we don't copy each other). We seem to do more work when we are together and we keep each other motivated but also know when to claim a break is in order. We achieve so much when helping each other out and it's also great so they can proof read through work. Also friends are great for revision as they can test you on what you have just learnt.

Do it for yourself.
This is mainly for people doing dissertation. Don't try and do all the things your supervisor says. Yes they are there to guide you and suggest possibilities however this is your own work. It is what you want to do so it must be something you have a passion for. After I told my supervisor what was happening and what I wanted to do, I felt more in control and this actually made me more passionate and pumped to do the work then a feeling of dread that I had no idea what to do. Supervisors are there for guidance not to hold your hand in every step.

Emma xx

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