Dissertation Diaries | Entry 2

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If it's not evident already, I have been struggling to keep up with the my three posts a week routine.  My dissertation is proving harder than I had hoped.  It's requiring a lot more coding and data analysis than I had initially thought but I am learning some vital skills which could benefit my career.

Resilience.  My project has solidified the importance of resilience to power through obstacles.  It's scary and intimidating to go into a meeting and admit that you have no idea what's going on.  It can be demoralising and, quite frankly, embarrassing.  However, resilience will bring results.  Working hard is the answer.  It's difficult to motivate yourself to keep trying yet achieve nothing in the day.  That is not a fault in myself, as I am putting in the hours, yet it's difficult to be convinced of otherwise when you aren't seeing results.  Keep persevering. 

Humility.  Humility is vital if you wish to succeed at any lengths of life.  Have the courage to ask for help, guidance, or simply discuss matters at your hand.  It's okay to not know everything.  It took a lot of self-talk to realise that this is a learning experience and I am not expected to be an expert in a field that I've never explored. Always ask questions at every meeting, no matter how silly they seem.  It's very easy to misinterpret information or advice given.   More often than not, it will be a vital portion of your project.  Your supervisors WANT you to do well as your work is a reflection of them and the university as a whole.  Therefore, they are more than willing to offer guidance and support but you need to be assertive in your learning. 

Take notes.  If you're like me, you won't remember everything in a meeting.  The minute details is what will separate your mark from a pass to a merit, and merit to a distinction.

Don't compare. Every project has equal significance.  And every project bares equal difficulty.  It was hard for me initially to not compare myself to those who have already written their first draft of the introduction (2000-3000 words) or those that are travelling for their project.  But my project was my first choice.  This is the one I wanted to do because this is my passion.  This is my baby.  I realise that my beginning is going to have rougher patches than closer to the finish line but this is my journey to embrace.

All in all, the take home message is: keep persevering and fail forwards.
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