Friday, 26 April 2013

Dissertation is complete!

Hi everyone! Well, as you all know, over the past 9 months of moaning about my dissertation; how many words I have to write, how long it’s going to take and how much research is involved… I have finally finished it! It’s a good feeling knowing that there’s no more research to do, theorists to find or more editing to be done! If your reading this knowing that your dissertation is also complete then you will know what I’m talking about, however if you have all of this to come, it’s so worth going through it, as you feel more independent and confident about your writing.

I think the best thing to remember when you’re writing a dissertation, is that you should make it sound like a story, a really gripping one which makes the reader to want to read on and to find out what happens at the end. Make sure there’s loads of theorists within your literature review, this is crucial as when your analysis comes around you will need to refer back to the theorists mentioned suggesting how they compare to your own findings. The literature review is one of the most important parts to the dissertation; it needs to be like an essay in a way, with an introduction, middle and conclusion. I put my theorists into themes so that it’s easier for the reader to understand what these theorists are going on about, as well as being easier for me to remember where I put them all! In total I had about 3000 words for this section which is about right if you’re word count is supposed to be 10,000 words +/- 10%. I have around 30 references in total, which might sound a bit :O if you’re used to writing essays which consist of about 8-10 references, but you will need this much by the end because of the theorists mentioned in the literature review, the books/ journals for the methodology, as well as any other theorists mentioned within the analysis chapter! I was worrying this week as I had gone up to 11,400 words but the references don’t count and that consisted of 600 words alone, so I’m in the +10%.

Other than rambling on about dissertations, I have actually had a social life! The Easter holidays ended a week ago, but I did a lot throughout them 3 weeks! In my last blog I mentioned about my birthday surprise from my parents and boyfriend and guess what it was… ALTON TOWERS! It was amazing!! The weather was sunny and there were hardly any queues, we walked onto most of the rides! Felt like we had the whole park to ourselves most of the time! It was such a lovely weekend; it was so nice to get away from everything. We stayed in the Alton Towers hotel, the rooms were huge and it was so peaceful there, the other hotel ‘Splash Landings’ was nice but the Alton Towers hotel was more for adults, it was peaceful which is just what you needed after a day of going through loops and corkscrews on the rides! I didn't really want to come home as it was so nice there, but it was my 21st birthday the Tuesday after so there was that to look forward to! I went out for a really nice lunch with my family on my birthday, and then went to the pub that evening with some good friends :)

However ;) you are probably sitting there thinking ‘is that all she did on her actual 21st birthday?’ well, not exactly. Me and about 15 of my really good friends decided it’d be a good idea to go to a club we’d never been to before down Southend (I live in Essex during the holidays, but I have a place up here for term time). It’s called Chameleon; it’s small so you can easily find your friends throughout the night when you all go off in groups! It was such a good night out, if you ever go to Southend with some friends then I’d recommend there. We initially went to the Last Post (a very popular pub in Southend), us girls were so far gone at this point drinking our pitchers and what have you, so by the time we got into the club we were rather drunk! :P the boys were pretty drunk too actually, and I can’t quite remember the music but of what I can it was good haha!

The Easter holidays overall was a rather chilled out one, didn’t do loads of work but I made up for it this week! Now it’s on with the revision I guess *yawn*. Oh but I do have a 22nd birthday house party to go to tomorrow! It’s retro style so that’ll be fun, it’s for my friend Jasmin’s and I’m going with some of the uni girls so I’m sure it’ll be fun. I have vowed to myself however that I’m not going to get munted as recently I’ve become the local chunderer; always throwing up the day after from all of the alcohol I had the night before. I was never like that in first year, maybe it’s because it’s a sign that I’m getting old? Who knows haha.
Anyway, I will speak to you soon about my last term at university *cry*, and my revision for 3 exams! Hope you all have a good term :)



Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Happy Easter!

Hi everyone J sorry I haven’t done a blog in a while, it’s been pretty manic (as usual), however it’s now the Easter holidays! Woo! I think we all deserve to have a bit of break don’t you think?!

As you all know I work for the Research Centre in the Psychology department, so I’ll start by telling you about my mentoring work I did last week for the English exchange (the French students came to England). It was for three days, might I mention long days and I think the second day we were working for 10 hours straight! The first day was meeting up with the French kids and teachers at midday at the University’s Medway Campus in Chatham, Kent. We did a couple of ice breakers to get back into the swing of things and so the students interact with each other. We also played sports (but in the freezing cold!), the kids moaned a bit but once they were out they had a good time! We had lunch and dinner on campus in the canteen, the food was actually really good and considering we were moving about all day doing activities we were all pretty hungry! We got home about 8pm on the Monday, but knowing we mentors and researchers had to be on the coach at Avery Hill campus at 8am in the morning, I got home and went straight to bed! (Wild student I know)

So we were all on the coach at 8am, freezing cold, as the weather refuses to enter the spring season. We picked up the mentors from Medway campus and then drove to Faversham in Kent. We met the English and French students there to go on a history related activity; looking at gun powder works. We did this for a couple of hours and then went onto Canterbury, which was lovely! We went off into smaller groups; however I say small, my group consisted of 17 students! Eeek! We ended up in smaller groups though as you can just imagine that they all wanted to see completely different things and go into different shops! We had lunch and looked around the shops for a while, the time zoomed by and by the time we looked at the time, it was time to go! We then went bowling in Whitstable; it’s lovely there, very picturesque. The bowling was near the harbour, but we didn’t really get to see much of Whitstable as it was so cold and the students just wanted to play, not to mention us mentors! :P It was really good there, I think the bowling was the best part of the trip for the students, as they were all interacting with each other, which was the whole point of the widening participation project!

The next day was more of a relaxed activity; the French students came to the English students’ school in the Isle of Sheppey. It was a good day, however I think the French students were so tired by this point they just wanted to go home! They left around 1pm, and so the English students went back to lessons and the rest of us went back home. Overall, it was a really good experience, and I've come to realise that I like working with that age group. I've been considering for a while now about becoming an ‘A’ level teacher, teaching Psychology and Sociology. I think it would be a great job, however I do still like the idea of working in psychological research so we shall see!

Other than that, I’ve been getting on with my dissertation. I need to amend my analysis, write up my conclusion and a small introduction and then… I’m done! Just revision after that, which I know sounds geeky but I don’t mind, as you can take revision with you wherever and I can write notes down, and it’s not like an essay where you need to check over it and amend it. I have four weeks to make my dissertation perfect so hopefully I get a good grade!

Over the Easter weekend I went back to Essex to see my family and home friends, it was very chilled which I needed! And of course, like we’re supposed to, I ate so much chocolate that it should be illegal.
Oh and last night, Monday 1st, me and my friends got together and watched the first episode of the new Game of Thrones season! It was amazing, as always, I literally cannot get enough of that show! If you haven’t watched it yet, watch it now! Season 3 is now airing but season’s 1 and 2 are available to buy. It’s soooo worth it!

Oh and before I forget to mention it, it’s my birthday next Tuesday the 9th. Yep, I’m going to be 21. I don’t mind so much, but I’d rather be 17 loving life in college with no worries! I’m going on a surprise outing this weekend, my mum, dad, brother and boyfriend have arranged a weekend away somewhere and I have no idea where we’re going! All I know is that we’re all leaving super early Saturday morning! I’ll let you know what it is when I blog next! Exciting ey J.

Right before I ramble on anymore, I’m going to be off! Hope you all had a good Easter and ate an obscene amount of chocolate!