For those of you in the Honors College or even in the International Degree program you all know the term thesis. But for those of you who are in the dark here is a brief intro; a thesis is a larger, self-directed project that can either be traditionally academic or creative and is a culminating or capstone project.
As I wrap up work on my thesis (and by wrap I mean lose sleep and drink copious amounts of Starbucks), I sit and wonder about the things I did right and wrong during the whole process. I will give myself credit for the vast amount of time it takes in psychology to go through data and “clean it” for use or the two terms I spent reading previous literature to uphold my argument. However, there are a few things I would go back and change so that I am not as stressed as I am.
First off, taking the thesis class really kick started my project and got me thinking of a mentor and question I wanted to explore. The assignments seemed like a hassle at the time but reading other theses and talking to potential mentors was a great use of my time and streamlined the whole process. I heed everyone who has taken/will take the thesis focused courses to really utilize your time and capitalize on the assignments you have to do. Also, taking thesis credits gave me the time I needed to explore the literature that my mentor wanted me to read through as well as gave me some elective credit in psychology. It’s all about maximizing your opportunities and anytime you can get credit and knockout some of your thesis GO FOR IT! Overall, my timeline for my thesis has been much longer than originally anticipated but the finished product (or the drafts I have of it right now) are really an accomplishment and say something about the work I put into the project. I will also give myself a pat on the back for choosing the project that I did and working with my wonderful mentor Dr. Frank Bernieri. My project constantly keeps me interested and Dr. Bernieri has been an incredible mentor helping me with everything from brainstorming to the data analysis process.
Now to the things I would have changed (GULP). I wish I would have stuck harder to my personal deadlines and not let other distractions or work overtake this project. Lately I have felt bogged down by putting all the pieces I have together and I know my original plan of attack was much for focused than this. I also think I would have spread out my thesis credits over a few terms instead of during one spring quarter; having allotted time each term would have been beneficial especially since I meet with my mentor so often. Procrastination has also been a downfall of mine and using the mantra “I still have plenty of time” has clearly made me push my work to the time limit.
To those working on a thesis I wish you all the luck in the world and you will totally come through this strong and totally rock your defense! To anyone interested in getting some other insight and tips into writing a thesis make sure you come to the Valley Library on May 16th to check out the UHC thesis far.