The mid-term blues:
getting stuck, and
staying on course
Falling behind with your work • Reasons why students get behind: summary of key points • Missed deadlines and coping with a muddle • Giving up • Reasons for non-completion of part-time study: summary of key points • Deciding not to complete: summary of key points • Picking up the threads and getting back on course • Why do we find writing so difficult? • Picking up the threads and starting to write again: summary of key points • What to do when things go wrong • When things go wrong: summary of key points
Many part-time postgraduate students experience a sense of frustration midway through their programme. It is acknowledged that, although everyone starts out with the best of intentions, many part-time students get disheartened at some point in their course. This may be because they fall behind with their work and find it difficult to pick things up again, or it may be because they have had to suspend their studies due to changes in their private or business lives. Equally, there may be students who have succeeded in keeping up with their work so far, but who find that the daily grind of managing parttime study alongside other aspects of their lives is wearing them down. Partway through a programme of study, once the initial excitement has worn off, it is easy to feel fed up and demotivated – especially when it comes to writing assignments and dissertations.