By Catherine Lee

“What is she talking about?” Read the barely legible comment, right next to the opening line of my thesis. It was the same opening line that I had used and he had read last time I submitted my thesis to him, and which he’d had no problem with. In fact, he had praised the majority of my first ten pages when he first read them – the same pages that he was now ripping apart before my eyes. When I say he, I mean, of course, my thesis adviser.

Why did you like everything before if you were only going to unlike it all now? Why did you give me love, only to take it all away? I felt – for the lack of a better word, irritated, even though I was taking his criticisms with a big smile. If only everything he was saying didn’t make that much sense! Oh, but it did. All of it made complete sense, which meant that I had spent a month on these twenty pages that I now needed to completely rework. And I still had thirty more pages to write.

What my smile looked like. Photo courtesy of InfoMofo

It was pouring when I got out of Wheeler. I walked to the nearest café, found the nearest outlet, opened my laptop and opened Word to confront the not-so-sweet thesis of mine. But I didn’t even know where to start. What on earth was I talking about in this thesis? It suddenly looked like a giant maelstrom of fail. My brain felt as if it were lapsing, sinking into an academic coma.

Am I writing this blog post because I have found a solution? I haven’t looked at it since (yesterday). I still feel kind of hopeless. But I can’t give up now, because first of all, that would be eight units of fail that I would be sending their way to my grade point average, and because if I give up now, all of academia will be missing out on this important thing I have got to say! All of it! Everyone will be terribly disappointed, and will go on to live their lives with that empty feeling in their hearts. My thesis is the most important thing to happen to literature since the invention of the wheel. I can’t let it down now. Gotta keep on keepin’ on.

For more thesis-related pep talk, click here.