Being in lockdown has been a difficult situation for everyone, however I have found it additionally difficult because I have also had to complete a dissertation project. Like many other students, I found myself in a new place where I needed to handle both the Covid-19 pandemic and university stress.
This is why it is vital to talk about the well-being of students, especially those in their final year who are writing up their dissertation.
Writing a dissertation is a challenging task, whether there is a pandemic or not. It requires a lot of time and precision.
Therefore, it is important to continue to ask for help from university staff any time you get stuck during the process. They will be able to help you talk through your ideas and provide guidance on writing your dissertation. Make use of office hours and book in regular meetings with your dissertation supervisor to ensure you stay connected.
Create a study plan with your supervisors for how you will structure your working hours. Take some time each week to map out when you will write and when you will do research. Having a clear plan, with small steps and tasks to complete each day, will make your dissertation feel less daunting. Ensure that you schedule regular breaks too.
If you are struggling with your physical or mental well-being, it is important to remember that your university will have well-being advisors you can get in touch with. You do not have to feel alone through this and a call or email to a specialist will help you manage the process.
Producing a dissertation requires a lot of energy so it also important to include some healthy habits in your routine to help you stay positive and motivated. For me, journalling has been an excellent way of relaxing. You can write down your everyday small goals or things you are grateful for. Or you can write down your feelings and frustrations as a way to process them.
Other ways to manage stress include talking to friends, going for walks and spending some time on hobbies you enjoy. Don’t forget that Rome wasn’t built in a day so take your time when writing your dissertation.