My thesis has been holding me hostage for the past little while. I'm not alone. A quick search on facebook tells me there's a group titled 'my thesis is killing me and my social life'.
But in less than 100 hours, in less than a week, in just a few days that will all be behind me and I will be free to go places that don't have powerpoints, resume other projects and work on my domination of the world of preserves. oh, and re-write my thesis for publication.
Even though there's still leg work to be done, I've realised that the whole process was that much more painful because I had never experienced anything like it. I've never taken on such an ambitious project by myself with a clear end goal and the very real risk that I might not reach that goal. The whinging and the stress and confusion have all come from a general feeling of uncertainty about what the appropriate way to deal with an Honours year is. I'm fairly sure everyone who has had to put up with my extreme levels of stress recently would probably laugh if I told them this to their faces.
Ironically, the thesis topic touches on the perception of Gen Y as team players and a group of people who thrive in collaborative settings where they constantly receive feedback. When I began this year, I foolishly laughed at the stereotype, prancing around like I was so far above any of those characteristics simply because I was researching them. I think this is possibly the biggest rookie qualitative researcher error I could have made.
For all the pain, now that the finish line is in sight, I think I can already see the benefit of spending 12 months working on what is essentially an independent project with a sponsor expecting a measurable result in the end. Definitely I know there are things I would have approached differently if I could do it over (like not working full time, not having to change supervisors half-way through). I also know that I'm so glad I actually made it to the end. Finally.