Museology Master of Arts Program

January 21, 2022

The nightmare that is thesis..

We’re all thinking it

By Linda Lee

As Fall quarter stumbles to a close, one could quite easily determine what any group of second years are talking about at any given point, and that is thesis. Thesis struggles, achievements, confusion, apathy.. Name literally any emotion and any one of us has fallen into a sordid affair with all of them at various points throughout the quarter, or on the bad days, within a single sitting. Like clockwork, these particularly turbulent moments occur almost immediately after thesis chair meetings. 

We break through our own crippling anxiety by grinning with all of our teeth and painting on a facade of composure just long enough to take a sip of beer and cautiously ask cohort mates, “So, how’s your thesis going?”. Their eyes widen with a gentle twitch and the spontaneous birth of a new gray hair strikes somewhere on their head. By the end of the beer, all composure is lost and both parties are fully ranting at the sky, not dissimilar to a Viking, sinking ship, and a cry for Valhalla. 

One observation that can be made regarding the dynamics surrounding all this self-loathing and communal ranting is that I’ve grown much closer to my cohort throughout this emotional process. Like soldiers, mountaineers, and reality show contestants, we are in the thick of it and experiencing high stress bonding. 

So, if I were to pretend any of this rambling had a point, it might be that everyone is feeling overwhelmed and underqualified, but none of that struggle is immediately apparent until the ranting gates are lifted. So let us all rant far more with people we like and celebrate as often as we can.