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Student Stories

Student Stories

Blogs and vlogs from students of the University of Edinburgh

Start of Neuroimaging 3rd Year…

Reading Time: 2 minutes

…by Daniela / from Portugal / MSc Neuroimaging / 3rd Year

Hey all,

Back to University for my 3rd Year in the Neuroimaging for Research MSc.

Today I would like to talk a little bit about my dissertation … or at least the process that I had to take to come up with a sensible idea.

After finishing the second semester of my 2nd year last May, I started thinking of potential projects that I could do for my dissertation. I knew I wanted something related to the field I’m working in. I also wanted something to do with image processing/image analysis which is a big part of the MSc. I also knew I wanted to gain skills in a field that was a little bit out of my comfort zone and I definitely wanted to do something that would involve this fantastic piece of equipment that I’ve got at work.

Right so that’s …1….2…3…4 elements that my project had to contain (yes, I realise that I don’t make things easy for myself).

I guess I did what everybody else would have done in my situation: went to a search engine and started searching for individual keywords that were related to the elements above. Bad, bad decision. I realised that I knew very little about the Universe of concepts I was searching.

I decided to go back to the start and searched for a combination of keywords related to the elements above. Triple bad idea. The semester hadn’t even started and I was already experiencing an exceedingly high level of anxiety. Then one day I was talking to a colleague at work and I was told “So why don’t you speak to xxx who are experts in the field and ask for help?”

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking that that was the most banal advise but I can tell you it was the most productive, effective and meaningful advise I could have received.

You see, I was so keen on coming up with this brilliant and amazing idea by myself that I completely forgot the basics: asking for help when you need it! It is so easy to get wrapped up in your own worries and anxieties that you forget that there other people out there with more experience and knowledge than you and who would be more than happy to help.

That would be my advise to anyone who is in the process of starting a project: ask for help! Even if you’re afraid of what people might think, ask for help. It’s easy and it will spare you of a lot of stress 🙂

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