According to Julie

You know you’re writing a thesis if…


The following list is from the Facebook group "You know you’re writing a thesis if…". This is the first time I’ve looked at an online list like this and been able to say yes to everything. I’m sure my parents, Per Ivar and Elisabeth will know what I mean. Remember Spring 2007? Thanks for everything.

– You spend 12 hours a day at the library.
– You keep a local coffee shop in business.
– You keep a local liquor store in business.
– Doing work for other classes feels like taking a break.
– Doing work for other classes feels like a complete distraction and waste of time.
– The Inter-Library Services people (probably) hate you.
– You’ve written eighty pages.
– You’ve written zero pages.
– You find yourself on Facebook instead of writing your thesis.
– You’ve considered dropping out of school, since you can’t graduate without it.
– You avoid your advisor like the plague.
– You see your advisor three times a week and generally camp outside their office.
– Your eyes no longer focus properly on what you’ve already written and you’re afraid you can no longer read English (or any other language your research is in).
– You have thirty+ books checked out from UT libraries. They’re all stacked by your front door so you can easily grab them on your way to the library/coffee shop.
– You constantly stress about how you should be writing or reading more.
– You constantly stress about how you should be writing or reading something, anything at all.
– You’ve taken up smoking to have breaks from writing.
– You make Facebook groups as a form of procrastination.
– You do anything as a form of procrastination.
– Running away to another country has come to sound like a perfectly acceptable excuse not to write the damn thing.
– You dread people asking you what you’re writing your thesis about.
– You can spit out a perfect three-sentence summary of your thesis.
– You have to talk for fifteen minutes to explain the premise of your thesis.
– Finding time to do laundry is getting harder and harder.
– Everyone you encounter comments on how stressed you seem.
– You can answer every question in class as well as the professor (if the class involves your topic area).
– You look like a hobo/drag rat carrying four bags of books, articles, drafts, and a laptop to campus every day.
– You never leave your apartment because everything you need for your thesis is there.
– Everything you own or possess regarding your thesis is in a giant locker at the PCL.
– You’ve changed the premise of your thesis four times this month.
– You can’t remember what life was like before you started your thesis.
– You can’t imagine what life will be like after you finish your thesis.
– You haven’t seen your friends in weeks.
– You spend every night drinking with your friends in an attempt to forget about how you should be writing your thesis.
– Every subject, no matter how unrelated, makes you think of some aspect of your thesis.
– Your parents have no idea what you’re actually writing about.
– Your friends have no idea what you’re actually writing about.
– All you talk about with your other thesis-writing friends is how stressed you are about writing your thesis.
– You love what you’re writing about.
– You have come to hate what you’re writing about.
– You’re not sure what you’re writing about anymore, you just search for random articles involving very specific search terms.

After it’s all over: You’re terrified of going to grad school because you’d have to write another one!
You don’t hesitate to start grad school so you can recycle your thesis.

2 thoughts on “You know you’re writing a thesis if…

  1. Dooley-Hickey, K. and J. Satcher (1991). “Doctoral Disorder of Adulthood.” Journal of Mental Health Counseling 13(4): 496-491.
    Favorite symptom: Magical thinking (wearing same underwear to all committee meetings).

  2. One thing I didn’t do: I didn’t smoke during my thesis writing. Other than that, I can check off every single thing.

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