Studying Thesis Writing Class
I’m finally done!!! Okay, I know that everyone does their thesis but I’m super freaking happy because I’d been at this for more than a year (I kept getting deferred because there was always something wrong with the way that I was writing my paper) and so it’s an incredible achievement for me to finally be able to say that I’m done with the thing. My thesis was on attractiveness, gender and personal space—there was so much information and I just didn’t know how to organize it properly. Looking back on the whole thing, I think that was it: I needed an extra push when it came piecing the puzzles together. And boy, did I get it.
I thought I’d put this up to help any fellow struggling students (undergrad or not, I still think this’ll be pretty helpful) who might be feeling really down about being deferred. I know it sucks big time to be in a rut re: your thesis because it eats up all your time—not to mention all your money. So I guess you can take this as a heads up: this might save your life and finally get you the degree you’ve been working like crazy for. (HAHA, obviously I can super duper relate.)
I’m a student at NYU (psychology) and I was very, very ambitious at the start of my thesis—I’m a pretty good student for the most part; I get good grades so I thought hey, why not use a complicated structure and make an experimental thesis?
Uhm. Okay. In hindsight, I probably would’ve been better off doing something simpler like a critical analysis of so-and-so’s text (not to say that would’ve been easy, either). I was overwhelmed with all the data that I got and I quite frankly didn’t know where to begin—with the framework, with the procedure, with what? Do I describe statistics? Do I talk about this or that? What in the world is the difference between the results portion and the conclusion? How do I make the reader care? Heck, why should the reader care?
Needless to say, I got very, very existential about the whole thing and got deferred twice. The first time, the panelists said that the whole thing came off unfinished (admittedly) and the second time, they said that I didn’t know how to write a proper paper (which was also true, sadly)—I should talk to my mentor.
Unfortunately, my adviser was a complete absentee (goodluck to those of you from NYU who end up with him as your thesis adviser). I mean, I’m not a complete narcissist, I know he’s busy too but in effect, we only met once during the term and I was extremely ill-equipped to handle the whole thing. I tried requesting for a new mentor but they told me that if they gave me a new adviser, I would have to re-do everything based on that professor’s aesthetic. Do it again? No thank you.
I put myself through school: I’m on a partial scholarship and I work at a yogurt place (the one on St. Mark’s) thrice a week just to make ends meet. It was really heart-breaking for me to have to defer a second time because that meant losing the partial scholarship; getting deferred a third time was not an option and could mean me dropping out for real. I was seriously considering taking a leave of absence although that would mean that I would get kicked out of the dorm for the semester that I’d be out. Obviously, I couldn’t do that because I can’t afford rent either. And going home to Georgia would be the most humiliating thing ever—I’d already been independent and doing fine for the past three and a half years, I wasn’t going to give up and go home just like that.
I kid you not; at this point I felt my entire educational life flashing before my eyes. Never have I ever felt so vulnerable, so scared. I needed guidance, big-time. After another unsuccessful trip to the department which sealed my fate as the de facto non-mentee of my adviser, I decided to just suck it up and look for other places to get the tips I needed. Of course, by that I mean that I went online. I found a couple of classes but the one which caught my eye was this one (click the link) because I saw that it organized the lessons into preparations, writing and editing—exactly what I needed.
Anyway, so I joined the online class—and proceeded to devour the knowledge that I’d been thirsting for (which my adviser was unable to give me): it was all so simple, it startled me. The class was easy to understand (I finished it in less than 10 days) and so clearly defined what had to be put into every lesson and what should be excluded from it. I finally understood what my panelists’ comments—I felt like (forgive the hyperbole) someone being able to see for the first time in a long time. There it was: this is all that I had to do! It was amazing.
I got to working on my thesis almost immediately and—get this—managed to turn it in early (the moment was definitely surreal). It was crazy! How do you go from not knowing what you’re doing to knowing exactly what to do? You open yourself up to possibilities I guess (something I wish I’d learned earlier). I’m graduating in the summer and I couldn’t be more excited! Finally, finally, finally! I can’t wait to finally move onto better things and finally get cracking on my dream of becoming a psychologist.
I’m going to end this here and say that I hope this helps any of you who’re struggling. Take my word for it: you won’t be sorry. Although I’d love to hear what you guys have to say about the class after taking it; let’s spread the word—I’d love if you guys could write about this as well and come back and leave me a link down below so I can see how you guys are doing. Thank you for reading this and good luck!!!