Woman sitting on a dock reading a book

Studying over summer

Whilst a vast majority of the university are finishing for the year, there’s a small percentage of us that still have work to do over the summer, and won’t finish properly until September. This is the case for me anyway and will be for anyone studying a postgraduate course, an integrated masters, or some specific undergraduate courses.

This may seem like a dream for those who wish they had more time on assignments or longer to revise, but actually, it kind of sucks. Whilst my friends are getting excited about finally finishing, my course hasn’t even really started. My course, like many other MAs, is 100% weighted on the dissertation, which isn’t due in until the 16th of September. So whilst I still have had LOADS of assignments to complete this year, I only have to pass them, and their marks don’t contribute to my final grade.

We are encouraged to basically leave our dissertation alone until the final weeks of the academic year, and only think about it when we get set our proposal forms. The hope being that over summer, we will be able to focus completely on one specific thing. Now, I know myself, and I know that I find it almost impossible to do work when other people are not. I have a serious case of fomo (fear of missing out) and want to enjoy some of my summer sunbathing and slobbing around. I also need to work over summer to support myself, and hopefully, save up so I can plan the next stage in my life.

In preparation for this, I have been doing a couple of things differently from what my course has suggested I do. Instead of leaving my dissertation alone all year, I have been thinking about it and researching for quite a long time before the proposals were due in. This means that I am slightly ahead of schedule, and already have a basis for my research. I have also been trying to make sure that I make the most of the time that my friends are revising or doing assignments. Whilst I might not have any imminent deadlines, I think it’ll be best for my final grade to work when everyone else is, rather than leave it until the last minute. I live with 5 boys and when they are relaxing, playing Xbox or computer games, I’ve been trying to make sure that instead of just lying around, I’m using that time to do some reading or research.

I’m hoping that by doing all these things, I’ll get a head start and find working over summer a bit easier, as I won’t be missing out on all the celebrating, sunbathing and BBQ’s. This is my mum’s advice, whose final uni exams were the last of all her friends – but she did the best as she made the most of the time when they were all revising, to do the work herself.

So, if you suffer from fomo like me (and my mother), make the most of the time everyone else is working too, rather than leaving it until the summer is at its most distracting. Hopefully, making these provisions will mean that I’m more prepared, and will result in a higher grade for my dissertation. On top of that, I hope it means I’ll have time to work and get tanned this summer too, which is a bonus in itself.

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