‘I’ve done it!’ An Open Letter to Second Year Students

We had a lovely time in our Department at lunchtime on Friday. It was dissertation hand-in day, and students, who a few days before were showing signs of the stressage of their impending deadline, were now milling the corridors, grinning from ear-to-ear. Some couldn’t quite believe that they had actually just succeeded in handing in a dissertation at all; some were simply relieved and shattered; all were happy with their achievement.

photo 3 (4)

As was I. From the supervisor side of the fence this year, I’ve seen students move from uncertainty to assurance. I’ve seen them develop skills in Psychology that will make them competent graduates and independent learners. There have been tears, and periods of stress, too (and not all of them mine….) but I think anyone in that room would agree that the process was worth it. There was a real, almost tangible, sense of accomplishment.

To all second (penultimate) year students about to choose their projects: whatever your topic, and whoever your supervisor,  the journey ahead has a steep learning curve. It won’t always be an easy ride. Speak to a third year now, before they disappear, and ask them about their dissertation, and how it felt to hand it in. Look at the photo’ above. Hold onto that throughout the journey. It will all be worth it in the end.

And for your supervisors, this is one of the best feelings they’ll get, too: seeing you happy with what you have achieved. Bon courage.

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