Having recently submitted my Research Project preparation form for my impending dissertation, I feel in a slight daze over how ‘real’ everything is. Now, do not get me wrong, I have not been living in a non-reality where the importance of my work at University surpasses me, but in my preparation for what will possibly be the most stressful, yet exciting thing I have ever put together I’ve come to realise what my two years here at the University of Leicester has been leading to; the independence and forthrightness to make something truly original, fascinating and a general summing up of what I am possible of, intellectually.
However, is it really simply a measure of intellect I will be working towards? It’s definitely a counter-part to what my dissertation will equate to, but I really believe that I’ll be putting something else towards it – something I have seen in the numerous people around me who have written, or are in the process of writing – and that something is motivation. To truly make the most of my dissertation, I will be investigating and researching something which I find profoundly interesting and thus, something I am motivated to write about.
For the first week or so after my ‘introduction to the Research Project’ lecture, I was in state of total panic; the kind of ‘oh-god-how-will-I-do-this?!’ panic you’d expect to have once you realise the importance of the dissertation-voyage you are soon to make. Yet, after many tireless nights Googling, evenings talking about possibilities with housemates over dinner and a Skype call or two from my parents later, I stumbled across my ‘thing’. The focal area of what will make up my Research Project, from who to talk to and how to investigate to what literature I plan on reading is set in my mind, and the biggest shock of all from my ‘eureka moment’ was how excited I was!
The moment I closed my laptop after sending my proposal form, I made the conscious decision to simply enjoy my time writing my dissertation. I can see how looking at it from afar it could have (and did for a week or so) turn into the scariest, overwhelming monster of a mountain to climb, and to get over these initial daunting feelings, I let go of the whole ‘measure of your intelligence’ theory I started this post with. I refuse to feel that my whole worth and intellect depends on what I will produce by the end of my time at University, and instead put my foot down on the accelerator and enjoy my time doing my first ever academic research*!
*Friends/Family/Strangers who see my crying in the library – please feel free to recite this to me next year when I resemble Gollum, clutching crumbled masses of paper and whimpering across campus.