I guess you found this article because you feel pretty shitty about yourself and that master’s thesis you have to write. Well helloooooo there, I totally feel you, bro or sis! Last year around this time of the year, I was pretty much a hopeless mess. I knew I had to finish my master’s thesis and three different papers for three different classes I attended. It felt like a huge burden on my shoulders and I was pretty overwhelmed by it. I knew that I had to get everything done by summer and only five months left to do so.
1. Dont panic
First things first. You need to stop, what you are doing right now. Stop biting your nails. Stop whipping your foot up and down. If you’re reading this in bed, because you can’t sleep, let me tell you: There is nothing about this situation, you can’t control. What you need to do is: Try calming yourself, by breathing three times deeply and pretending, you have everything under control, even if you feel, you don’t. Believe me, that’s the first step to your graduation. Think about all the things you have to get done and write them down. Get out of bed, grab a piece of paper and get all your hopes and worries on paper.
2. Buy yourself a beautiful notebook
The key to reach any dream in life, is to write it down. After reading “The secret” by Rhonda Byrne, I knew I had to change my perspective in life. I was and still am sometimes a very pessimistic person, I worry a lot and don’t believe in myself often. So one day, I went into a book store and bought a beautiful little notebook. It wasn’t a cheap find either, but I loved the design and reminder it gave me: “Your wellbeing is worth it.” , so I bought it. On the same day I sat down and opened the first page, wrote and drew everything down that I felt at that moment: all my dreams and sorrows. And boy, I felt amazing! This little booklet is still with me and I carry it everywhere I go. I know it sounds cheesy but seriously think, that I wouldn’t be a Master in Theology and Ethics now, if I hadn’t had this book to help me through that time. Call me crazy, but there is something about writing it down, that makes things real to me.
3. Set your own goals
How much time do you have left to write your thesis? Not much? Don’t worry, there is still enough time if you plan properly. Write your schedule down that, shows you exactly the timeframes you have dedicated to writing and stick to them. If you plan like a pro, you’ll accomplish everything you have in mind for the next couple of weeks and months to come. Nothing should interfere with your work schedule. Set your own goals, for example: “I will write 1 site every day.” or: “I will read 3-4 essays every week.” A thing that was very helpful to me, was to even go further and write a “to do” list of what I wanted to get done the next morning.
4. Claim your very own workspace
Writing a master’s thesis is a long process and it takes a lot of energy from you. Try to wear comfy clothes and keep your feet warm. Ask yourself: “What do i need to be the most productive?” and create a workspace just for this period of time. If you don’t live alone, try to find a place, where you can work for more that just a day and leave everything as it is on the table, to continue the writing next day. You’ll waste more time if you have to gather everything that you need, every time you sit down to start writing. That doesn’t mean, that you have to leave everything a mess. Take some time at the end of a writing session to clean everything up, sort your books and put your dirty coffee mugs away.
5. Go for a run!
If you don’t feel inspired, skip a couple of writing hours and go for a short or long run. If you know you won’t be able to write anything and surfing on “Pinterest” is not helpful for the progress of your master’s thesis either. So the best way to get your head clean is to work out, go outside, breathe some fresh air or talk to a friend on the phone or at a coffee shop. If you have been writing for a long period of time, try rewarding yourself to a nice meal or buy yourself something little for every milestone you reached successfully. Doing something completely different from writing will help you keep your head clean and fresh for the next steps.
6. Ask for help
You my be wondering why I put a picture of my dog above this point. Well, look at those eyes.. they totally look like they understand your troubles and worries, don’t they? And you friends and family will, too. I learned, that it is crucial to share the process with others. Tell them about your thesis and explain why you won’t be available at all times for the next five months. There are so many people in your life who care about you and would love to support you, during this time. Ask them for help. Tell them what would help you and try to be as specific about it as possible,
Oh my goodness, you did it! Look at you, you are now a “MASTER OF DESASTER” and it feels amazing, right? I totally remember the warm fuzzy feeling when I was holding three (still warm) copies of my thesis in my hands. It felt P-R-E-T-T-Y good! But at the end, a master’s thesis is just a piece of paper that doesn’t define your abilities and qualities. You are able to accomplish so much more in life and I believe in you. Now go and have your graduation party and rock on, badass!
I’m sending you a big bear hug!