Dissertation Defense: How to Fight Panic

Sometimes when it comes down to finally doing your dissertation it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. It is almost like your entire academic career boils down to this one big paper and if you don’t do the best than your life is over. It is understandable because this is a big thing, but it isn’t everything. You need to remember how to keep yourself calm during dissertation time and find an inner peace that will get you through to the end of the paper.

How to do it

  • Deep breaths
  • Trust your education
  • Trust yourself
  • Have a plan

Deep breaths

Taking deep breaths is a legitimate relaxation technique. Just close your eyes, breathe and relax. Once you are more relaxed you will be better equipped to deal with the stress of the dissertation.

Trust your education

At this point you should know that your entire education has lead you here. It has prepared you for what is to come now. This dissertation is just an extension of what you already know and can do. Trust this. Know it to be true and you will be fine.

Trust yourself

You have to have faith that you are ready for this and can in fact do this well. If you can’t trust yourself to know what you are doing by now than you have a problem. Believe in yourself and let that belief help you through.

Have a plan

Even with all of the previous steps, you will need a plan. Know what your topic is for one thing. Schedule time for you to research the topic, time for writing, time for editing, and time for rewrites. Schedule everything. Make sure that you keep to the schedule and get things done in a timely manner. It is important to have a good plan. Without a plan the rest of the steps won’t work nearly as well. So stay with it and keep going. Make steady progress and believe there will be a true end in sight.

Dissertation fears are common and happen to everyone but remember that people who have take all of the same classes you have taken have done their dissertation and done well. You can do the same. Don’t worry so much and use all of these steps to get you through to the very end. You will be okay!

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