It seems that the closer the deadline for the thesis submission comes (a week from tomorrow) the easier it is to write anything BUT my thesis. I guess that is why I am here now. Sure, I’ll chalk it up to the guilt of not writing in 4 months, but really, I am reaching the point where I am talking myself into educational procrastination. “Oh, well, this will be useful for future MESPOMers….” Sure, Caroline, keep telling yourself that as you have 50 more pages to proofread sitting under your computer at this very moment.
With that said, I would like to report that my first draft has been completed and I am now working my way through edits. It was about three weeks ago when I really started to feel the pressure. I had an introduction, and a bit of everything else, but not enough to be coherent. I was feeling somewhat confident, however, because it wasn’t like I had forgotten about my thesis, quite the opposite actually. I was constantly thinking about it and what I would write about, lulling myself into a false sense of security. Future MESPOMers and thesis writers–it DOES take a lot of time to coherently put all of those wonderful thoughts you are having in your head onto paper.
Now that I have all of my thoughts on paper, however, I have to go through and proofread. I have sent this draft to my supervisor as well as a couple co-workers who so kindly offered their time and expertise to help me polish it. Reading it through now, I realize that it would have been nicer for them if I had read through it first to eliminate stupid mistakes (i.e. “conversation” instead of “conservation”, and the like). I have found whole sections which have to be moved to a different chapter, and sentences where I ask myself “what were you thinking when you wrote this?”. I guess this is part of having a first draft, and I am thankful that I have time to review it once (and hopefully even twice) before the submission which is in:
At the same time, I am continuing to work full-time. While it is exhausting to work from 9-5 and then come home to work another 6 hours on my thesis, it is very motivational to work in a place where the usefulness of this thesis becomes more apparent day by day. Not only that, but I am working with very understanding co-workers who have told me over and over again that my thesis comes first and have been nothing short of accommodating when I have to take a day off on short notice to finish a chapter. For all those considering working while writing your thesis, I suggest you only do so if your workplace is willing to accommodate you during this period, but more importantly if you can discipline yourself to work a full day and then come home to work some more. I feel pretty proud of myself that I was able to accomplish this task (assuming things don’t fall apart in the next 7 days, 17 hours, 49 minutes, and 50 seconds…), but I can definitely say that I could have been more proactive in my thesis earlier on. Unfortunately, I know myself, and I can’t work productively without feeling some sort of pressure–a fault that I definitely have to work on.
Despite the pressure that is weighing down on all of the current 2nd year MESPOMers, the plans for a reunion here in Budapest for our defense and graduation are extremely motivating for a strong finish.
Now, it is time to go back to proofreading, despite the sunshine that is calling my name outside…