If you are a student at the University of Notre Dame, especially if you are an upperclassman, chances are that you or someone you know is writing a thesis. If you are writing a thesis, you can bet your severely overheated laptop that you are talking and complaining about it nonstop. You can also bet that you are reminding your friends of this fact after every sentence. (As one of the thesis-writers myself, I’m allowed to say this.)
As such, I’ve compiled a completely objective and factually-sound list of things every thesis writer says during the course of their thesis-writing endeavors:
- “That deadline will work!” You probably told your advisor this in that meeting where you laid out a schedule for the semester. You thought to yourself, “yeah, I can totally write a chapter of my thesis in two weeks.” It’s okay to admit it now, this is a safe space—you were wrong.
- “Is it ‘advisor’ or ‘adviser?’” Throughout your thesis journey, you’ve sent out more emails than you ever wanted to on the hunt for resources, counsel, and advice. You’ll take anything to console yourself that you’re not just pulling arguments out of thin air. In all of these emails, you had to type out the word “advisor” several times, and you probably had several nervous breakdowns over how on earth it’s supposed to be spelled. At the very least, “advisor vs. adviser” is definitely in your Google search history.
- “Oh, right, I see what you mean.” This is what you say when you’re talking to a professor who has some knowledge on your thesis topic, and they say something incredibly intelligent. You’re trying to follow, but honestly, you’re completely lost. You’re just writing a thesis about popular baseball fiction. You didn’t realize this was going to be delving into issues of critical pedagogy. But somehow, there you are, trying to talk about critical pedagogy and how that could possibly relate to the 1919 World Series.
- “I don’t even know what I don’t know.” I’d argue this also applies to anyone who is doing college the right way. However, for thesis-writers, this is particularly relevant. You were so young and so naive when you signed up for this; you believed you were actually going to pick a topic and learn all about it. You thought maybe you could even call yourself an “expert” by the end of this whole thing. Jokes. You might know more about your topic, but more impressively, you’ve discovered the never-ending chasm of information that you don’t know about your topic.
- “I’m, like, basically done with my first chapter.” Translation: I haven’t started it, and if I told you I have an outline for it, that’s probably also a lie. Basically, writing a thesis has turned me into a compulsive liar and I’m sorry. Or am I? I don’t even know.
Lacey Silvestri is a senior English and history major who is, in fact, writing a thesis on popular baseball fiction, and she hopes the pain and suffering it caused will land her a job with the Cubs. Hire her at firstname.lastname@example.org.