Writing the Literature Review Chapter

frustration We have the first chapter of our PhD due in a little over 2 weeks. I’m not even halfway through, although I promised my supervisor that I’d be almost complete in 6 days time. I guess that if we’re going by the number of words written, that I’m around half-through… but knowing that I still have a couple thousand more to write, and that I have a lot of editing and reading to do still, I am a bit frustrated. It’s been a challenge balancing my little jobs and keeping on top of my work; not an extreme challenge though. I’m fairly on top of things, but it certainly would have been easier if I didn’t have other concerns on my mind. I thought that I probably was way behind everyone else in my cohort. When last I had a lecture (last Thursday) I had only just had my first supervision with my supervisor a few hours before. Everyone else I’d spoken to previously had already had a couple meetings, or at least one proper meeting with their supervisor. They seemed well on their way to conquering things… but me, I felt: not so much. So, when a coursemate sat next to me in class last Thursday (he was a guy I’d barely ever spoken to before) and we got to talking about the topic of the moment– ‘The Literature Review Chapter that is due soon”—I said that I’d only just had my first proper meeting, concerning my research, that morning. I told him that I felt like everyone else was much further ahead. He responded, ‘I only had my first meeting with my supervisor 2 days ago, and you actually have more words than me, so you’re not alone in the point you’re at.’ I felt a sense of comfort in hearing that… knowing that I’m not some weird outlier, knowing that there’s still time to catch up. I guess though that to some extent everyone feels pressure, worry and ‘not as good as I should be…’ It’s a pressure that’s not necessarily eased by comparing ourselves to others, since we all work in such different ways toward achieving the final product. Hopefully though, we can all each feel confident in at least thinking that we’re only ‘not as good as I should be YET’. In time, I expect that I, and all else, will get where they need to be.

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