Diary of a postgrad student – when the meltdown is not about snow

Well this week has been a little unexpected. I live far enough outside of Dundee that from Tuesday there was no chance of me getting in. Fortunately, from Wednesday there was no chance of anyone else getting in either. This means that there was no stats lecture on Friday, and no quiz (yay) but we will have to catch up in future lectures (boo!)

I got feedback on another assignment. Same grade, C, and same feedback.

This caused me a proper meltdown. I can not write this way. I can totally see what I am doing wrong. I understand 100%. However, this is not how I write and serves no practical purpose in my business and my day to day life. Writing loads of stuff about what other people think with a small percentage of my own personal opinion has no real world application. In fact it’s the opposite of what I need to do. I want everybody to understand what I am saying, no matter what the audience.

This was brought home once more when I did a really successful talk at a business breakfast run by the Natwest bank at the Dundee Ice Arena. About 15 people attended, I got great engagement and loads of positive feedback after the event.

I also attended an event to get more women in the media, run by STV and Women in Journalism. The whole event was around connecting with female experts : people who could be on TV and offer their opinion. These slots on STV news will last 2-5 minutes maximum. In that time you have to express your opinion, answer questions, and leave them with a sound bite. They don’t care what everyone else thinks, they want your expert opinion.

How does a Psychology assignment prepare me for either of these things? Not at all.

Does having a PhD suddenly make me more of an expert or better able to express my expertise? Not at all.

What it does do is give me instant credibility. Dr. Dawn Walton makes people assume I am credible, irrespective of what I did to get my doctorate.

So the big question is, do I want to spend 3-4 years doing something that I hate and serves no practical purpose to my day to day life, for the sake of people looking at my name on paper and assuming I am credible?

So the meltdown this week has nothing to do with the snow, and everything to do with my future being thrown into turmoil.

I have 2 more assignments to write (1 already submitted) before I can get on with my dissertation. I have tried a different approach to writing this latest one so I’m curious to see what the result will be. It may be worse! But either way, I’ll be glad to see the back of the assignments and get on with the fun stuff of analysing and interpreting the output from my dissertation questionnaire – because that is really interesting

Written by:

Hi, my name is Dawn Walton and I am a 44 year old therapist that lives in the Dundee area. I'm originally from Anglesey in North Wales, but I've lived here for 17 years. My first degree was in Computing at UMIST in Manchester. Now I'm studying a Masters in Psychological Research Methods with the aim of going on to do a Phd.

I love Starbucks and Pokemon Go. So they are likely to feature in my posts quite often!

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