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ELIZABETHINPA's Photo ELIZABETHINPA SparkPoints: (0)
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8/21/08 4:08 P

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How did you all turn out for the theses?

It is a miserable time. No part of it is fun.

It is so hard to try and decide what to make a priority. I made the mistake of throwing myself to the wind during comps and have now reaped the problems of weight gain. blah. If I had it to do over again I would make sure that i did get out to do some sort of physical activity every day as was mentioned before. Not knock your socks off cardio (i HATE exercising. Working out is a stressor for me, not a stress reliever like it is for many people) but just talking a walk around the block or even around the house. I also would have stocked my freezer up with lean cuisine pizzas instead of spending all day and all night at the local tea shoppe (which had delectable homemade organic and local foods which were high in fat!)

Anyway, best wishes for you, and I hope everything turned out all right!!!

~Elizabeth


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DORTHYA11 Posts: 15
7/31/08 6:42 P

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SelfConfidence, you have all my sympathy! Those last few days are just so dreadful and stressful. Hopefully, your school will be a bit like mine--the office people and professors all were very accustomed to students wrapping things up at the last minute. I was amazed how smoothly things went at the end.

Yes, I am done. I defended, printed my copies on acid-free paper, and signed the final forms. All that remains is my advisor to put in a "pass" for the thesis course I took with him over the summer.

I can't say that I have a wonderful feeling. Procrastination made the experience too unpleasant. If I had managed my time better, I could have written a much better thesis with better results. I have too many regrets to feel good about things. But life goes on, so I am sitting down with my new textbooks trying to prepare for the upcoming semester.

Regarding the move, I do have a new apartment sort of reserved, and have been looking to transfer the lease for my current one out. It was stressful for a few days, but i think I've found someone to take the lease over. So now I just have to worry about the actual move--packing up all my stuff, transporting it, unloading it, etc.

Good luck! We are all rooting for you!

Edited by: DORTHYA11 at: 7/31/2008 (18:44)
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SELFCONFIDENCE Posts: 7
7/31/08 5:58 P

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Thesis crisis '08 has intensified. I turned in my thesis to my committee and scheduled my defense by the deadline. However, I found out yesterday (my department isn't the best at keeping us informed-- and yes, I have read the handbook) that my thesis is due (with revisions, turned into the library and the ETD approved, etc.) three days after my defense, otherwise I have to pay tuition in the fall (kind of a big deal because husband hasn't found a job in our new city yet). I am going to try my hardest to complete the revisions on time (read: stay up until it's done no matter how long it takes), but there are so many aspects that are out of my control: depends on the revisions my committee wants, how quickly my advisor approves the revisions (or if my whole committee wants to see it again I'm toast), how quickly the library process the ETD (they have to process it before I can get the final form signed and turned into Graduate Studies), how much time I have to spend at graduation (husband graduating and my family will be here from out-of-state), etc. I think I'll be paying tuition next semester.

Glad to hear that you're done. Does that mean done defending and all? Do you have that wonderful feeling everyone keeps talking about? Are you ready for your move?

Congrats to Pedess-- thanks for the advice too. I'll file that away mentally for the dissertation.

Edited by: SELFCONFIDENCE at: 7/31/2008 (17:57)
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DORTHYA11 Posts: 15
7/31/08 1:24 P

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SelfConfidence, how is your thesis coming?

I finished last week. It was not a "fun" experience at all, thanks to my terrible procrastination and total lack of rapport with my advisor. I want to think that I have learned something, and I think that perhaps I have, but at the same time, procrastination has gotten me into trouble for years. Thankfully, I DID finish the thesis and get all my forms signed, so I should be graduating in the next few months and good to go for my new school later in August.

Pedess, congrats on handling your dissertation so well. I am now sitting down with my new textbooks trying very hard to do my summer reading in a not too stressful or crazy way.

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PEDESS's Photo PEDESS Posts: 23
7/30/08 11:17 P

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Like others said, things get better when you work on your dissertation. Working on my thesis was pure agony most of the time, and it felt wonderful when it was done. Then prelims, which for me was the worse experience of my life and not one I wish upon anyone, regardless of having realized how much I did learn from it. Now, I have actually enjoyed working on my dissertation because the process is more familiar, I have a clear objective and timeline, and I can see progress. Doesn't mean it has always been easy, and one crisis actually led me to this team, which is a great way of checking yourself and your thoughts and feelings in regard to the process. One thing I learned after that crisis was that I was avoiding (aka procrastinating) because I had expectations of perfection. I spent a little bit of time reevaluating where I was at and now, 2 months before my absolute deadline for the prospectus, I can say that I have my first very rough draft of the lit review done! And my advise to you is to make the changes your committee asks you to make on your thesis immediately to get it out of the way and get it done. The feeling of it being complete is undescribable! Good luck!

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DORTHYA11 Posts: 15
7/22/08 12:03 P

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I'm in computer science. Things are looking up, a bit. My advisor approved it, so I'm waiting on the other 2 guys. Looks like if I can meet them individually on Thursday for signatures, then I'm in good shape. So Friday evening I might be home free.



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SARAHFATIH's Photo SARAHFATIH SparkPoints: (112,163)
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7/22/08 10:31 A

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I definitely understand. I am in the final stages of my dissertation proposal (hoping to defend it at the beginning of the fall semester). Just hang in there!!

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
-- Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

"Insist on yourself. Never imitate."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson


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SELFCONFIDENCE Posts: 7
7/21/08 2:29 P

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Well, how'd it go? Me... not so well. Glad we can rant together though. I didn't finish Saturday night-- everything takes longer than I think it will. I'm hoping to finish it today. I emailed my advisor and told her I'd send it to her later today to keep me accountable. It's just scary because there are so many things, especially timing things, that can go wrong and make this not work. And it has to work. I'm already technically graduating in December (my Ph.D. program says they're fine with it as long as I meet all the requirements by the end of August), but in order to not have to pay tuition next semester, which I can't afford, I need to finish (defend and all) in the next couple of weeks. Sigh.

I'm in Sociology. You?

I keep telling myself just to push through it. And maybe, in a couple of weeks when it's done and I'm in the clear, I can laugh and say it was all worth it. GOOD LUCK!


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DORTHYA11 Posts: 15
7/19/08 10:34 P

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Sounds like you and me are totally in the same boat, SelfConfidence. What's your area of study?

I am SO anxious about what you mentioned, how everything's go to be done 2 weeks in advance and stuff. My final draft is absolutely due 5PM this Friday for binding and stuff. I have yet to hear back from my advisor and haven't even sent it to my committee. I think that I need to defend before this Friday. Which means my committee will have had my thesis for like 3 days. What a joke! Tomorrow is my self-set deadline for a polished final draft...I am sending it to my advisor and probably the other committee members tomorrow (Sunday) evening. But they are so vague at the office about when things must be done. Until just a few weeks ago, I thought that the 25th was the deadline to have an advisor-approved final draft, and that the defense would be done in August.

If I am not too late with everything and manage to finish this ghastly final chapter, then I may be FREEEEE of this master's program as soon as a 7 days from now.

OK, back to writing and wrestling with myself over whether or not to order takeout...

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SELFCONFIDENCE Posts: 7
7/19/08 10:00 P

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I'm feeling your pain... right now in fact. And yes, writing the thesis has been agony. I'm also finishing up my thesis this summer and starting a Ph.D. program in the fall. I'm actually working on my thesis right now-- I'm hoping to send it off to my advisor tonight (too ambitious?), get her feedback, revise it this coming week and have it ready by Monday the 28th. I have to defend by August 11th and my defense has to be scheduled two weeks in advance, so I'm cutting it close. STRESS.

My last couple of weeks have been exactly as you've described: lots of caffeine, no sleep, delivery or frozen pizza, etc. I agree with you about managing things so that the pressure doesn't get this bad, but sometimes things are out of your control (like pleasing everyone on your committee) and I think most everyone would agree (I could be wrong, of course) that, no matter how much time you put into the thesis, there is still panic at the end. I need to be better about spreading the work out over a longer period of time, but I also would like to know how to keep healthy habits going even while I'm in panic mode. I feel like I don't even have time to shower, much less go for a run and THEN shower.

Anyway, good luck on your thesis! Hopefully things will go well for both of us in the coming weeks...

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SOUTHSEVEN's Photo SOUTHSEVEN Posts: 21
7/18/08 11:10 P

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Dorthy,

I can definitely understand your pain. The thesis process is tough but you will survive it I promise! What helped me was trying to get in some exercise, even if it's only going for a walk around the block. It will get you away from the paper for at least a little while to calm down and clear your head. Although it was tough, I do feel better about writing a dissertation after doing a thesis. You'll know how the writing process goes, the chapters needed, etc. Hang in there!!!

emoticon

Edited by: SOUTHSEVEN at: 7/18/2008 (23:08)
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DORTHYA11 Posts: 15
7/18/08 11:04 P

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So I'm finishing my master's over the summer and am starting a PhD program in the fall. I've been trying to wrap up my thesis for weeks, but I haven't been able to focus and now it's due this Friday and my advisor is only just starting to look at my rough draft. I know, I know, it's just a master's thesis, but writing it was still agony. All my habits are a wreck from the experience. I've basically been in, "Just finish the thesis, nothing else matters" mode, so I've been eating junk food at odd hours of the day and night, not going to the gym, drinking soda and coffee instead of water, sleeping irregularly, etc. I have one chapter to go, and then the revising my advisor says I should do before I let my committee read and defend.

Aaah! I'm sure most of the people in this forum have been where I am. I hate how this kind of stress demolishes any kind of healthy habits... I also know that rather than toughing it out and being good during these hard times, what I need to do is manage my time better so that the stress and pressure never get this huge. Good lesson for the new school I'm headed to I guess... Anyone else have serious procrastination issues?

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