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Struggling to keep on top of things

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    Hello, pretty new to all this

    Pretty much I'm lost on what to do with my course. Recently, I went through a really hard break-up with my other half after being together for over three years. Suffice to say, it was horrible timing. I'm currently in my third year at university, and as usual, we all have dissertations due in -.-

    Anyway, since then I've been really struggling to keep up with my dissertation writing, as well as keeping up deadlines with my project supervisor. It is due in quite soon (just under a month), and I know I need to do it, I want to do it, but I struggle to muster up the motivation. I don't know what to do, I have said to myself I WILL do it and I WILL get it done, but as the days go by I realise that I've done very little.

    Now I'm starting to get worried. I don't want to believe that I've just wasted three years of student loans and time just to fail now (we can't resit our third year, if we fail we are out), and I don't think I could bear failing in the eyes of my parents either. But it's hard to muster up motivation, all I want to do is sleep or just stare blankly at pointless things.

    To be honest, I think to myself that I can't be bothered, I don't want to do anything. I just want to sleep. I don't think I'm depressed or anything, I've seen people who are and I'm not like them. All I think about is the deadline, how it gets closer and I do nothing. I sometimes sit at night and feel like crying (how unmanly) because I want to do it but I can't.

    Any advice on mustering motivation or what I should do?
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    I'd get in touch with your personal tutor or dissertation supervisor and explain that things aren't going so good. If you ask them to help then they'll most likely be glad to - it's all part of their job. I've done something similar with consulting my personal tutor about my problems keeping up to date with things and lacking motivation (although in my case this is caused by depression), and she's been very helpful with discussing ways I can keep things moving, and suggesting other people I can also turn to for help (my uni has a student guidance service who can help with stuff like this - chances are your uni has one too).

    Maybe you could also try and remember what made you choose this degree and dissertation in the first place, and what excites you about your subject. You might have lost your enthusiasm for now, but if you go back to stuff you enjoyed maybe you'll get back the motivation to keep on going.

    Good luck with it all.
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    When I think of why I did this course almost 3 years ago I was really enthusiastic for it. And until about a month ago I was really into my dissertation. It's based on an interesting topic, it's just hard to get other things out of my head and properly focus.

    I don't think I could get away with an deadline extension or even assistance on my project so close to the deadline, they would turn around and say I'm trying to throw excuses out because I haven't worked. At our place, barring a note from a doctor or university official, extensions are hard to come by.

    I suppose I could take a visit to the university consellor (spelling?) tomorrow and see if he/she can help. Guess that's the best thing to do.
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    Definitely talk to your project supervisor about how you're feeling. Even if it isn't depression, the fact that you're finding it hard to motivate yourself to do the work close to the end of a long project is totally understandable and common and that's without the added stress of the break up of a long-term relationship. Even if your supervisor isn't able to assist you with the dissertation then they will be able to make suggestions that you maybe haven't thought of.

    I know it seems tough to talk about it - we very rarely want to admit that we're struggling - but the sense of relief you'll feel with them just knowing about it is incredible. I did the same thing on Friday with my thesis supervisor and he's encouraged me to come in and write around the other people in my lab and pop down and chat to him about anything if it'll help. Sometimes just getting it out there is the best help.

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Updated: April 2, 2012
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