The Feedback Loop

Whenever I receive feedback on my university work, I have mixed emotions. I’m excited about seeing how well I’ve done but nervous about how much I have to fix to make it presentable for submission. My MSc supervisor is amazing; she gets back to me with lightning speed and gives me really thorough feedback and I can tell she’s read everything really carefully. Obviously I love that I get all this feedback because then I know exactly what to do to get a good grade but when I first get all this feedback I feel incredibly overwhelmed by how much work I have left to add and take away. Edits are the hardest for me because after I’ve completed something first time, I’ve convinced myself that I’m nearly there and there must only be a few things left to make that leap into a higher grade.

Then, when the feedback comes, I realise that the undergraduate dissertation I wrote is only one tiny stepping stone compared to the bridge I have to build when writing a masters dissertation. I can’t even comprehend what writing a PhD thesis is like – the golden gate bridge maybe?

When feeling like this, how do I cope with it? Well, my initial instinct is to close my laptop lid and put it away for a few days, but time is running out and I know I need all the time I can get to make this dissertation the best dissertation I’ve ever written. My second instinct is to write a blog post about how I’m feeling, hence this random injection of my thoughts and feelings amongst the variety of other topics I’ve covered recently.

It doesn’t help that I’m starting a new job, excited to move away from academia and slowly approaching the end of being a formal student. This excitement is unhelpfully masking all those feelings of urgency I should have that will help me to complete this MSc so I can say goodbye to it properly. I’m always like this though, I’m constantly starting the next step before I’ve finished the first which, although the overlap can cause me to stumble sometimes, helps me to visualise what happens next and stops me worrying about having nothing to catch me when I fall out of student life.

I’m hoping that after I’ve scheduled this post and chosen a pretty picture to go with it I’ll feel better. It does help that I’m working with my boyfriend today; he’s so motivated and driven that it’s almost contagious. Seeing him power through maths problems in preparation for his PhD is incredibly inspiring!

I suppose the next thing for me to do is go back to my dissertation and power through some corrections. Wish me luck!

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