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Honours Diary Part 3: 3 Weeks, 2 Days To Go

Library shelves

So with the end of the world (aka my thesis due date) looming, I’ve found that every distraction that exists seems to be coming my way. Since writing my last diary post I’ve had my wisdom teeth out, helped my boyfriend move house and endured the flu. The good news is that a rough draft has been completed. The bad news is that it’s a very rough draft.

The researching and reading stage is (thankfully) well behind me now, aside from some fact checking and an afternoon at the State Library to read some old Hansard that date back to pre-Internet times. I’ve finally read and returned the books I borrowed from the library back in July after renewing them about five or six times.

Weeks ago I came up with the clever strategy of writing 1000 words a day (minimum) on my thesis. It lasted three days. I complained to my supervisor that not being able to write every day was stressing me out. He very kindly told me that some days you do a lot of writing, some days you don’t and it’s not something to worry about so far from the deadline. That calmed me down quite a bit.

After that, the first draft was miraculously completed last week through sporadic bursts of motivation. In my mind “Thesis version 1” currently resembles a half completed flat pack from Ikea, and a few of the bolts are missing. But I’m pretty happy with the arguments, and I’ve tracked down a wonderful source that made one of my central points convincing and not just conjecture.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to send my first chapter to my supervisor for feedback. The second chapter will hopefully be ready a few days after that. The problem is I’m a perfectionist. I know I need to show him a draft, but part of me would love to wait until I have a glorious final copy in hand.

This post makes me sound on top of it, but the truth is I’m having a bit of a panic about the whole thing right now. It seems everyone around me has noticed how close the deadline is. My family and my boyfriend ask me several times a day how the essay is progressing.

On top of all that, there’s a 3-month overseas trip that’s barely planned, apart from plane tickets, passport and a visa. The departure date scheduled for the same day as my thesis deadline... I knew I’d come to regret that.

My boyfriend wrote his thesis last year. I remember this was about the point in his thesis when he started sitting in front of the computer all day with a harassed look on his face. People would have to bring him food or he wouldn’t feed himself. He also wore a lot of track pants during this phase. Having just put on some track pants and a hoodie, I think I’m there now.

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