Masters dissertation - anxious, depressed, lonely! Is there any hope?

19-Apr-15, 20:44
Avatar for academicadam47
posted about 5 years ago
I am feeling anxious, worried, hopeless, pessimistic, sad, lonely, and alone, frustrated because of my dissertation topic. I am being forced into a topic that I would not normally go into because of some regulations that was stipulated in my postgrad scholarship contract. I’m struggling to find any sort of motivation to begin reading around the subject.
I am half way through my Masters degree course, with a few assignments left and the big 20,000 dissertation of which I have yet to start. On top of this, I have to produce another (separate) task for a particular company that I will be working for over the summer period (again as part of my postgrad contract)
I suffer from depression, and in the past it has severely damaged my ability to both produce and submit work on time so much that I had to take a year out in my undergrad. I have compulsions of OCD to achieve this ‘perfect standard’ of every single piece work that I am working on, and I have reached the stage where I am wondering whether or not I will be able to finish my Masters degree at all this year. What’s more worrying is that I have a PhD studentship ready for me come October this year…I’m desperately trying to stay focused and tell myself that I can complete this MA dissertation on time, but I’m struggling to remain optimistic at all. The work is so overwhelming!
Any suggestions or advice would be great.
19-Apr-15, 22:06
by Eds
Avatar for Eds
posted about 5 years ago
Mate, it's only an MA. It'll be done in a few weeks. Already lined up for a doctorate? Great- then you only need a merit (probably!). And then the only barrier betrween you and it is- you.
20-Apr-15, 09:21
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 5 years ago
Hi Academicadam

I can understand your feeling demotivated at this stage. I remember facing down my MA dissertation with a PhD already confirmed. After the excitement of defining a PhD topic, getting it approved, etc, the MA diss' felt strange - almost like a step back to a topic I was less interested in and a stage I was already past.

The thing to do though (and I'm not going to win any awards for this advice...) is to get started. Looking at a wall of research material is pretty daunting. The trick is to make it smaller. Work out a good start point, get yourself a good note-taking system (I actually used small cards, to stop myself getting out of control) and get a few days under your belt. You'll get your lightbulb moments and your interest and enthusiasm in the topic will develop accordingly. It will, honest. I ended up loving my MA dissertation - even published a small piece of it.

Hope that helps a bit - honestly, get stuck in and you'll feel better about it.



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