Loughborough Student Life

A new year of research

We’re only a week into September but for me, review month is over for my research project! The week leading up to the submission deadline was very long and sleepless. I was still only in the second week of my new job. As soon as I got home each night I had my laptop in my hands. There’s always times when you’re a student, at any level, where no matter how fantastic your time management skills are, the work piles up and you just have to get your head down and power through.

Feedback on my research project

I asked to have one of the earliest slots possible to get my review over and done with so that it wasn’t hanging over me and stressing me out. Now it’s out of the way. I have to wonder what I was panicking about because it went far better than I could have expected. Although I hadn’t spent anywhere near as much time on my PhD this summer as I had hoped, the reviewers were pleased with my progress and highlighted how much my research had developed. I was so relieved to hear these comments and soon became really proud of what I had achieved instead of stressing about the things I hadn’t managed to get done.

Practical work

As I mentioned in my previous blog, the next step for my research now leads me into the practical work. Due to the nature of my research and the participant group I will be working with, this means ethics. Lots and lots and lots of ethics approval at various levels which can take months. I still have to keep reading and writing. It’s important I keep my literature review up to date and that I’m aware of all the other studies going on in the world that are in any way similar to mine. But, the majority of my focus now will be getting everything ready to begin my practical work.

Freshers vibe

It was great to be back on campus for my review and have a quick catch up with staff and colleagues. However, as it was so early in the month the campus was still very much deserted. I’m sure by the time this blog is published the campus will have a completely different atmosphere. Campus comes to life again with the buzz of freshers week. A close friend of mine will be a Loughborough fresher this year. I’m so excited for her and everyone else starting as they embark on their own University journey!

Freshers 2008

All of the experiences that come with moving into halls, meeting tons of new people and starting a course do become life changing. When I look back now I never imagined when I was a fresher that I would go on to do a Master’s never mind a PhD, so be careful. Once you get a taste of it, it can be hard to walk away from!!

Getting to grips with my new job, unpacking and settling into a new home and overcoming the hurdle of report submission and the review have pretty much taken every scrap of time and energy I’ve had in the past few weeks so there’s very little else to mention! The coming months will hopefully be full of navigating my way through ethical clearance processes. I’ll try not to talk about that too much because it probably won’t make for the most interesting blog content!

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Third-year PhD Art student from Market Bosworth. Describe Loughborough University in one word? Prestigious.