Finals diary, part 3: Thesis submission, and some real progress

It is currently 53 days until my finals will be over. My thesis deadline is on Friday. Although I finished my final draft last week, I still haven’t managed to submit it due to some difficulties getting it printed. Fortunately my supervisor has offered to help me out, and hopefully it should be in on Tuesday.

After a few days of doing absolutely nothing and feeling burnt out, I started doing some real revision yesterday, focusing on past papers for two of my options that I direly need to focus on. This has so far been a productive method, in that I feel I am focusing directly on the material that I need to, as well as taking some of the fear out regarding the exams themselves. My final term starts next Sunday, but in Oxford academic commitments usually start the week before (0th week) so I have a meeting with my tutor and two collections (mock exams) coming up Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

This has got me feeling a bit more motivated, and hopefully with the restart of term I might start having a bit more to do socially. Although everyone is in their revision cocoon, it has been weird for the last few weeks as most of my friends went home for the vacation, including my two flatmates. Having the flat to myself has been nice, but it’s also been somewhat isolating.

My attention has also turned (somewhat anxiously) to my plans of what I am going to do after my exams finish, and what I am going to do after I leave Oxford. I am planning a trip to Scotland, followed by a few days at home in Northern Ireland shortly after my exams. I think this will be a much needed break from Oxford, and I’m looking forward to it. After that my summer job will start on the 24th June. As for my career plans after that – they are still up in the air! Fortunately I have some savings, which would allow me to take a working gap-year of sorts, before going into TEFL. I still have not yet heard back from the British council regarding the assistantship I applied for, which is preventing me from making any alternative plans. In the end I will have to wait.

Tonight I think I will probably go out to a quiet pub and read for a bit: I am thinking more and more that spending all day in my flat (even to revise) is not good for me. It’s a strange feeling, but I find myself often wishing that I had a real job to go to. Revision feels like a grind: it’s never ending, there is no neat division between working and personal time, and the pressure is immense: everything seems to hang on the outcome. At this point I resist catastrophizing by telling myself even a third would be an acceptable outcome. Ultimately I just need to be patient.

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