I feel bad for not writing anything here for such a long time, but dissertation preparation took all my time.
It’s all fun and games until you get to the 3rd year; that’s when the hard work really starts. I had the entire summer to come up with an idea for my dissertation, to re-think it, change it, and re-think again. Consider other alternatives… and go back to the original idea. But I didn’t do that. But honestly, who did? Looking back now I wish I thought about it back then.
It took me ages to come up with my final idea. Idea, that was completely different from what I wanted to do when I submitted my proposal. The general concept stayed the same (ish…) but the method got refined. I went from purely qualitative study to a quantitative one. This only means one thing… STATISTICS! And SPSS software, that we, psychology students, just l-o-v-e! (not.)
Getting my ethics form written up also took a while. Mostly due to me being very undecided about what I wanted to do. Having to do a brief literature review didn’t encourage me to keep working on it either… But a good thing about it is that I actually have some framework to refer to when I finally start writing the real thing. Surprisingly though, my study got approved a day after I submitted the form!
Next step was to actually create my survey online. Seems pretty straight forward, right? Well, I thought so too. It took me one evening to create it, but I kept going back to it for a few days after to change bits and pieces. Last night, it finally went live, and as of today I have already collected data from 21 participants! Impressive, or what? So, my data is collecting itself, and all I have to do now is start the write up (with other coursework bits on the side…).
So, future 3rd years! Don’t follow my example and really do try to figure out what it is you want to do for your dissertation early enough, it will save you a lot of nerves! Trust me, the current 3rd year who’s a little too stressed out about the whole thing.