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The 22 Stages of Submitting Your Dissertation

It feels like the day will never come while you’re writing it, but here’s what happens when¬†it’s finally time to submit your dissertation.

1. You finally decide it’s finished. Finally.

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2. And have to take a second to absorb what has just happened.

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3. Because you honestly weren’t sure you were going to make it this far.

4. While part of you wants to start immediately celebrating…

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5. Another part of you feels the need to hibernate for a few years to recover from the ordeal you’ve just been through.

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6. You do a final proofread, barely¬†believing you’re the one who wrote all of these words.

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7. And pray that the blood, sweat and tears actually pay off and get you a good mark.

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8. You save about a thousand copies of it to various different places, paranoid a disaster is about to strike.

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9. And spend almost as long creating a cover page for it as you did writing some of the chapters.

“Logo or no logo? Is that font too big? Does it make it seem like I’m shouting?”

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10. You hesitate before printing, partly because it feels very final to print it out.

You definitely can’t change the question once it’s printed.

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11. And partly because you’ve just realised how much this is going to cost you.

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12. Taking your work to be bound feels like one of the most university-ish moments you’ve had so far.

Better late than never…

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13. And you hold the finished copies in your hands like:

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14. Before taking an obligatory dissertation selfie.

Even though you’ve been judging other people for doing the exact same thing¬†ūüĎÄ

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15. Being the author of a printed and bound dissertation suddenly becomes too much for your nerves.

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16. You don’t¬†know whether to feel relieved, resigned, smug or, frankly, absolutely terrified.

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17. Last-minute self doubt creeps in and you briefly consider not handing it in just in case it’s actually awful.

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18. Especially when you catch a glimpse of other people’s dissertation titles while you’re filling in the submission sheet.

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19. Finally handing it over feels remarkably underwhelming for such a milestone moment.

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20. And you suddenly feel like you don’t know what to do with yourself anymore.

“What did I used to think about before I had a dissertation to write?”

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21. You enjoy a¬†long-awaited sense of freedom for a short while…

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22. Until you realise that, now your dissertation is finished, the next big milestone you have to complete is graduating.

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