Currently Reading… and editing… and writing… and editing… and re-writing… and more reading.
If you’re thinking about doing a thesis, don’t.
I’m kidding… kinda.
For the past year, when I wasn’t in school or at work or vigorously preoccupying my mind with something else, I was thinking about my thesis.
“But Marie, you picked your topic, so don’t you like working on your thesis?”
I did… and then I read a novel by Hemingway and four short stories by Hemingway and a play by Hemingway and ten books about Hemingway and fifteen articles about Hemingway. *deep breath* And then I had to write about Hemingway and talk about Hemingway and then re-write about Hemingway and oh my god if I have to write one more word about this man-
The first half of the year was pretty manageable; I read a few books, read a few articles, honed my topic, and went at a relatively leisurely pace. I thought all was well and good – and then the Spring Semester started.
I began to realize that I wasn’t just writing about Hemingway. I was arguing something about Hemingway – which isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do because he’s one of the most written-about authors ever. Seriously, like ever. And not just that – all of the sudden, I was also arguing something about the Spanish Civil War and war writing and the concept of “truth” in war and modernism and the list just went on and on and on and I began to feel like I was drowning.
It eventually got to the point that I decided I would never read another thing by Hemingway after the thesis was finished. I got so sick and tired of writing about the same thing week after week that it became a chore. I just wanted to be done and never have to think about it again. So, I would put it off for days and days and then the day before I had to turn something into my advisor, I would have nothing to show for the week. I would then hurriedly try to get it done and become panicked because a thesis isn’t exactly something you can rush. And then that would trigger one of my lovely panic attacks and then I’d really get nothing done.
But somehow, with the encouragement from my parents, advisor, and lovely boyfriend, who is strangely very good at dealing with panic attacks, I was able to finish with plenty of the semester to spare. Not a bad way to finish my college career, I’d say.
So, for any of you out there reading this who is struggling with a paper, a class, or a thesis, remember to breathe. Take a break, take a breath, and remember, everything really is going to be okay.