Writing your dissertation is a huge undertaking that takes up around six months of your time during your final year at university. Juggling your dissertation with lectures, seminars, coursework, and other essays, as well as your part time job and household chores is no mean feat. Many students find themselves living on a diet of instant noodles, biscuits, coffee, and alcohol during the final stages of the dissertation process; not to mention the all-nighters sat in front of the computer reading journals and typing drafts.
As you progress through your dissertation and get closer to the deadline you'll probably begin to rely on junk food and very little sleep, and you'll stop socialising with friends as often because you just don't have the time. Once you've handed your dissertation in, it's like a weight has been lifted and you're suddenly free again; but what to do with all this free time? Before your exams begin and you need to turn into a social recluse for revision purposes, here are five fun post-dissertation activities to help you love life again...
Gather all your friends together, book a table at your favourite restaurant, and go out for a really nice meal. You've probably neglected your diet over the last few months, surviving on ready meals and takeaway pizza. Now that your dissertation is handed in, what better way to pass the time whilst you await your fate than by enjoying nice food again. Order what you want off the menu, wash it down with wine, and relax, safe in the knowledge that you'll never have to repeat the dissertation process again. Well, unless you do a masters or a doctorate in the future, but let's not worry about that yet, eh?
There are plenty of nice zoos throughout the UK, so you're never too far away from one. Get some friends together, pack a picnic, and head off to the nearest zoo. There's something about spending time observing animals that's really rather relaxing and therapeutic. Many of us visited our first zoo as young children so they evoke a sense of childlike nostalgia, helping you to regress back to a carefree state of being. Look at that penguin just waddling over to chomp on the fish that the zookeeper has brought; he doesn't have a care in the world, and right now, neither do you.
The beauty of the UK is that you're never more than a couple of hours away from a beach. We may not have the hot, sunny weather to accompany a trip to the beach, but there's still a lot to be gained from spending a day by the sea. Most seaside town in the UK provide a plethora of ways to entertain yourself, from arcades to amusement parks; but simply walking along the beach and listening to the waves crash onto the shore is one of the most relaxing ways to spend an afternoon. Finish the day with good old fish and chips on the sea front, and head home with your lungs full of fresh sea air, and your head in a state of calm.
Spending six months or so of your life writing your dissertation is pretty intense, and the chances are many of your favourite TV shows have fallen by the wayside. If your Sky+ box is full of recorded shows, and your Netflix watch list is bursting with new boxsets it's time to treat yourself to a duvet day and binge-watch your favourite shows! Whether you invite a few friends round or enjoy some alone time with the latest season of Orange Is The New Black, you'll need snacks. Grab yourself a big bag of popcorn, order a pizza, and settle down in your pyjamas for a day of TV heaven.
You've spent more time in the library than Hermione Granger over the last few months, and you've developed cabin fever from spending so much time in your bedroom attached to your laptop. It's time to get out and have a change of scenery for a few days. Take a look on EasyJet or RyanAir's websites for cheap European flights, book yourself into a hostel with your best friends, and enjoy a weekend away to blow away some cobwebs. If you can't afford to jet off to a European city there are plenty of great places to visit in the UK for a weekend away. The change of scenery and change of pace will really help you to recharge your batteries after the long, hard slog of your dissertation.
Writing your dissertation is an intense and time-consuming process, so it's likely that you've not had much spare time to devote to your favourite hobby. Now that you've handed it in, you've probably got a bit of free time until you need to start revising for your exams, so put it to good use and fall in love with your hobby all over again. If you didn't have a hobby before, now is a good time to take one up. Whether you're interested in rock climbing, baking, knitting, or yoga, spending time doing something you enjoy is a great way to relax, unwind, and reward yourself for all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into your dissertation.