6 weeks to write a 5000 word essay up to an academic standard, including researching, after nearly a year of no essay-writing. 6 weeks to also actually complete the last few thousand words of my dissertation and make the suggested changes and make it whole. Excuse me while I sob/scream into a pillow.
6 weeks is a long time, but when you start adding to that the excruciating details, ‘comma or no comma’, ‘which or that’, double, triple, triple-triple checking the years and pages of every citation, the bibliography, too many books, not enough books, mentioning every book, first editions, second editions, balancing theory, personal reflection, and critical analysis. When you add to that the layout, structuring the essay, filling out forms, putting them in the right order, a bibliography, appendices, acknowledgements, the abstract.. Then rushing to the library to print and bind and hand in. 6 weeks becomes very little time. 6 weeks leaves me no time, in fact, to have that short break in-between to step back for a while from the essay and come back to it with fresh eyes and edit it, hone it, polish it. And I remind myself that I wrote my undergraduate essay in 4 weeks and managed to do really well, but the keyword there is ‘undergraduate’ and 3000 words as opposed to 5000 and I had a very clear, concise idea as compared to now. You are not an undergraduate, you are a postgraduate, a little voice in my head tells me. Actually it is hardly little, as it goes on to reminds me that it is also my fault for running off, being distracted by LIFE, by this that and the other, for having a 20-something-graduate crisis/breakdown somewhere in between, and having a job that slowed me down and other personal things I’d rather not list. Though I have been writing through it all along.
Truth is, 6 weeks isn’t my final deadline. 6 months is. But since coming out of the haze that became the end of 2014 for me, and finding myself generally more positive about this whole life-thing since February 2015, I desperately want to graduate this summer as opposed to next. And because graduating after 3 years from an MA seems like a ridiculous idea. Even if I hand in my dissertation in 3 months, 2 months, 7 weeks, I’ll still be waiting until next summer to graduate. And I want it all completed this summer and put away, officially, so I can move on. While a pass is definitely not what I want for my MA, and a distinction would be reaching too high realistically, a merit is something I would like and be happy with. The in-between, the average. But a part of me wonders if submitting in 6 weeks would get me that, despite my decent to good marks that I’ve had so far in my modules.
I also keep worrying about how it’d look on my CV, because while I’ll have jobs and experience on it for all this time, as well as the MA, it still makes me feel a little.. slow. Am I simply overthinking?