Approaching the end of an undergraduate degree can be an exciting time but nothing dampens those feelings faster than an impending thesis. For the poor souls who have a dissertation to produce, it's a nerve wracking time that takes months of preparation beforehand. Even then things can always go terribly wrong.
As someone who's approaching her own thesis and watched others conquer theirs, here are some pointers on how to survive and nail the semester(s).
Understand what preparation means to you
What constitutes as prep cannot be defined. Hence, understand what you need to do to feel comfortable when approaching the semester. Can you handle having other courses or would you rather do it solo? Do you need to leave the job you're doing to make time? How many hours might you need to put in each day? Do you need to read and prepare your topic ahead of time to feel comfortable? Find your comfort zone. You'll need it.
Find a suitable supervisor
Many make the mistake of picking a supervisor with whom they can't work with. If you have a choice, find someone who you get along with. If your choices are confined then brace yourself for the rocky ride and find a good support system elsewhere.
Allocate your time wisely
This is tied to the preparatory stage but goes beyond it. Overestimating how much time you need is actually a good move. If you have extra time, you can work harder. If you're at a crunch you might make mistakes. This entails that you get an understanding of how you operate, balance research and writing, and then create time and space for yourself accordingly.
Pay attention to your mental health
If you're feeling burnt out, depressed or anxious, or feeling any kind of negativity, address it before you step into your thesis. It can affect your performance and hinder the outcomes if it goes unaddressed. Deal with what may jeopardise your thesis. Does this mean you'll face no issues at all? Of course not. However, you will have a better idea of what you need to do to handle it. If at any point you feel the need to seek professional help, remember that hesitation puts your work at risk and therefore needs to be addressed immediately.
Prepare to become a crazy person
There's no way around it. You'll be stressed, cranky, sleep deprived and most likely the worst version of yourself. So set aside time to blow some steam and get close ones ready to deal with the mess that will be you.
Nooha Sabanta Maula paid a good amount for this blurb. She likes to use her warm contacts in many digital agencies across town for her work, which she then submits as her own.