The Graduate School Information Channel, Sponsored by:
Writing a Thesis in Half the Time When You Don’t Know Where to Start
by Dora Farkas, PhD Does Writing a Thesis Have to Be Painful? “Writing a thesis is probably so stressful,” said the kind doctor at the emergency room, as he examined my elbows throbbing with pain. “You may be able to avoid surgery because you are young”, I heard him say, “but if I were you (full story below)
by Dora Farkas, PhD

Does Writing a Thesis Have to Be Painful?

“Writing a thesis is probably so stressful,” said the kind doctor at the emergency room, as he examined my elbows throbbing with pain.

“You may be able to avoid surgery because you are young”, I heard him say, “but if I were you I would strongly consider it.”

He diagnosed me with “tennis elbow,”a condition common among tennis and golf players due to the repetitive motions in these sports.

However, it also affects people who use computers or work in the laboratory for extended periods of time.

“That would be me,” I said.

“I am a graduate students, writing a thesis, working 60-70 hours a week.”

He nodded in sympathy.

The doctor had seen enough grad students, and understood how much pressure I was experiencing.

Since I was in so much pain, he injected cortisone into both of my elbows to reduce the inflammation.

While the injections hurt, hearing the recommended course of treatment over the next few weeks (or months) was more painful.

First, I had to stop working out and go to physical therapy instead.

Second, I had to take off two weeks from work, and restrict my work hours afterwards.

I was scheduled to present my research to our sponsors in a month.

I could not imagine what PI was going to say when I told him that I could not work for two weeks.

Would I lose funding from our sponsors, and be kicked out from grad school?

I felt more stuck than ever before.

I could not imagine how I would ever graduate with such limited work hours.

But, what I learned during my time off from work literally took my breath away.

It wasn’t the amount of work that led to my painful condition.

I had been sabotaging my own progress, without realizing it, for years before my physical pain gave me a wake-up call.

My physical pain was a result of working to the point of burnout for years, always feeling like my work wasn’t “good enough.”

If I wanted to finish writing a thesis, I had to embrace and appreciate any progress I was making.

I accepted that I would graduate on my own time, and it didn’t matter how many of my peers graduated before me.

The idea of not beating myself up (when everyone else around me was beating themselves up), seemed heretic.

If you keep beating yourself up, is it any wonder that eventually writing a thesis becomes a painful experience?

But, the scariest part of writing a thesis is not that you need to let go of your expectations of being best.

The really scary part is confronting everyday all the things you don’t understand about your thesis, and then writing anyway.

Once you can do that (and I know how terrifying it feels), that’s when you will start to believe that despite everything you had to overcome until now, you WILL finish your thesis.


https://finishyourthesis.com/
Check Out More Graduate School Articles & Content
Expand Evernote’s usefulness with the Web Clipper
Why You Should: Do Things You’re Bad At
Rhythms of Writing: juggling inspiration and discipline
Post-Academic Careers
Quick Content Search
Search Grad School Content:
Enter keywords below to see a list of Graduate School related articles on our site!  
Florida Coastal Law's Practitioner Clinics
Florida Coastal Law's Practitioner Clinic is an innovative course offering students a chance to work closely on pro bono cases with a practicing lawyer. Students are often invited to work on these cases in the practitioner's office off campus, and the Clinics are offered as two credits with an evening classroom component.
Visit Site >
Florida Coastal Law Offers LLM & Certificate in Logistics & Transportation
Florida Coastal Law is the first law school in the U.S. to offer an online LL.M. Degree or Certificate in Logistics & Transportation. Students in the 24-credit LL.M. or 12-credit Certificate program gain expertise in global logistics and transportation law through cutting-edge courses taught by attorneys and industry professionals online.
Visit Site >
Share Graduate School Content!
Got info to share with the community? Post Graduate School content here!
Post Content>
Interested In Grad School? Questions?
Graduate School Interest:
Enter your name and email address to have a representative contact you with graduate school information!
First Name:
Last Name:
Email:
Sponsored Content Create an Ad
Follow Us!
Link To Us!
Do you have a website? Link to HBCU Connect!