The day is almost here.
Which day? Doomsday.
The deadline for my thesis submission is exactly T minus 1 week. And my head is spinning with all the anxiety and stress.
This is actually my second thesis in the last year. Crazy, huh?! I’m currently doing a Masters in Linguistics, which requires a minimum of 25 thousand word thesis. Many things didn’t work out the way I would’ve liked, but hey that’s life, isn’t it?
So, on that note, here’s my experience with writing this thesis, in a nutshell. I did a similar post last year during my BA thesis. I’ve got to say, MA thesis just made everything worse. BA thesis was child’s play, in hindsight.
Stage 1: Confidence
Now, I know this was completely different last year. Last year I was so utterly lost because I’d never done anything like this before – except write your usual essay… but doing your own research was totally new! This year, on the other hand, I started off with confidence, thinking “Ah, last year went so well, this year won’t be so bad! I’ll just pick a topic and go from there. I got thisssssss”
Stage 2: Denial
At this point, I was prioritising everything except for my beloved thesis. I was officially supposed to start working on it in February (although some people had already begun in December). We were well into March at this point, and this was basically me:
Stage 3: Realisation
April came around and I was still collecting data for my thesis, but that “THIS IS MY RESEARCH” hadn’t dawned on me until I was done collecting data. At this point, I thought, “Shit. Shit, shit, shit. There’s so much data to transcribe and I’ve got two and a half months left. CRAAAAAP.” It had dawned on me that I’d underestimated the bitch that is called MA thesis.
Stage 4: Panic
So at this point, I wanted to cry every day. I had meltdowns, as many of you may be familiar with. Yeah, you know, those spontaneous meltdowns in university bathrooms at the 7th floor because your surpervisor wasn’t in her office even though you didn’t have a meeting or anything. Yeah, that kind where any little thing just pushes you over the edge and it’s all too much to handle. I believe this is a good representation of my brain at that time:
Honestly, the thing that drove me to the edge was STATISTICS. Oh lord, if I ever have to do statistics again.. I swear, man. I don’t even know but I know that I never want to be near SPSS again.
Actual footage of SPSS surrounding me:
Stage 5: Adulting
Adulting means pulling yourself together and pushing through.
This meant lots of sleepless nights and living in my cave day in and day out.
This meant a lot of hard work, despite everything else. And a lot of coffee.
Did I mention coffee?
Stage 6: Insanity
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you, the stage I am currently in. I have finished writing the first draft of my complete thesis and I’ve lost count how many times I’ve proofread it. Problem is, I’ve still yet to get feedback from my supervisor on the last and most important sections of my thesis. So here I am, going crazier with every “code-switching”, “L1”, “target language”, and “language function”.
types: “target language”
Stage 7: The light at the end of the tunnel
Just one more week, I tell myself. One more crazy week and it’ll be over with. Then I can get on that train and travel Europe for two weeks. Hell yes, I am looking forward to THAT.
I’ve been bitten by the travel bug. My wanderlust will be satisfied soon enough! I cannot wait for the 1st of July!
Moral of the story:
Chin up, kids. If you’re going through the same torturous process I am and especially if this is your first time, trust me it’ll be over before you know it! Time flies and you’ll one day long for these days you think will be the end of you. (Maybe this is advice for myself, maybe not. It’s up to you.)
We always think that this is the worst time ever, but once we’ve pushed through we’ll come out stronger and better. We always look back and think “oh, those were the good old days”. So no matter how hard these days are, we will most probably look back quite fondly to these days we call torturous.
Writing a thesis, an essay, or completing any assignment is a work of our own and no other. It’s something you should be proud of because it’s all yours. In the end, you’ll look back proudly and say “I did this. I made this”. Whatever it is your doing, do it well. Do it proudly. It’s yours and no one can take it away from you. Hell, not legally, at least. Those plagiarism rules are tough.
Even if, in the end, it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, say with a lower grade, you should still be proud of it. Not everyone comes this far, so take pride in whatever you do.
So, is there anyone else who feels like they’re going through these stages? Or am I just being dramatic? (which is possible, ’cause I do feel quite dramatic at the moment…) Holler at me if you can relate! It’s always nice to know you’re not the only one.
Just in case you were wondering what had changed since writing my BA thesis? Well, here you go: click here to find out.
Until next time,
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