The Daily Dissertation

There comes a point at the end of the masters year in which you have to condense all of your knowledge in one specific subject area into a 15,000 word thesis. Of course, it wouldn’t be very student-y of me if I hadn’t started this massive piece of work until a few months before the deadline.

I once flirted with the idea of pursuing a PhD in my chosen subject. I went as far as to look into funding, emailing potential supervisors and networking (read: going to lots of boring seminars) with other academics. However it dawned on me very late in my year that it was just something I didn’t want to do for a living. I love writing, that’s for sure, but researching a single subject for four to six years of my life? I enjoy Ancient History but not that much!

My course finished in June and yet here I am stuck still in a viscous cycle of wake up, go to the library, come home, eat, sleep, repeat. I spend as many hours as I am asleep with my head hunched over a keyboard and a few books. It’s emotionally and physically draining. I find myself coming home and lethargically sifting through Facebook, too tired to even play video games.

People tell me to enjoy my relative unemployed freedom while it lasts (and to be honest, I’d rather it didn’t last much longer) but if this is what it means to be free of the daily grind, I’d rather be stuck in an office. At least then when I got home I could switch off and not have that little voice in your head whispering “you have to read at least seven passages of Livy before bed tonight” on top of my need to apply to at least one job per day with a fresh cover letter and CV.

It all gets on top of you very quickly, and it’s no wonder that the age range of the 18-25’s are some of the most stressed in our society. Get a degree! Get a job! Don’t slouch! Pay your taxes! Pay your student loan!

Perhaps if there was more of this realism in video games it’d be refreshing. “You are the hero of destiny, you must save the realm!” “Sorry, I’m just filling in my tax forms, then I have to hit my word limit deadline for today. Oh and after that I need to sort out the issue of my deposit with my landlord”.

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