I received the email awhile ago from the University telling me that the deadline to apply for graduation was August 1st. So I pretty much just closed that email and didn’t look at it again. Part of it was avoidance, part of it was denial, and part of it was me not wanting to feel freaked out about any deadlines.
I even lost touch with my Master’s buddy, Laura for weeks, with both of us blaming it on our busy end-of-school-year schedules. And now I’m wondering if maybe, subconsciously, it might have been more of a deliberate avoidance. Just maybe. Laura and I have taken all of our courses together and decided that we would write a thesis according to the same timelines. We both knew we could do it in a tight timeline, if we kept each other on track.
When summer came around and I realized I was behind in my tightly planned schedule, I had to check in with Laura to see what our plan was going to be. It turns out we were still at the exact same stage – Just finishing our analysis of data. We discussed the possibility of October 13th as a graduation date, and wavered between “no, we can’t” and “yes, we can” for a couple of days. How could we possibly finish analyzing our data, meet with our advisors, prepare our discussion and conclusion, finish all revisions, submit it to our third reader (who I haven’t even met yet) and prepare for a defense before a deadline of September 19th? It sounds a little closer to impossible for me. Especially since I haven’t really spoken with my advisor about this deadline.
But then when Laura emailed and said she applied, and that I was just a few clicks away from doing the same, something happened… I realized the short deadline was exactly what I need (not to mention the competitive nature of thinking that Laura would graduate without me). Plus, we both agreed that the worst thing that could happen, would be that we’d have to wait until spring to graduate. Ugh. No way!
So now I’ve been back at the table for days. Trying to make sense out of all of my data and figure out how to compile it into a comprehensive paper that will make sense to the reader. I have read a number of other peoples’ theses to see if I can get a little more inspired, or un-stuck, and start listening to the “you can do this” voice in my head that pops up every once in awhile. As well, I have a meeting scheduled with my advisor on Tuesday to show him my progress.
So I’ve learned a few things here….
- I always enter freak-out mode when I move onto a new stage in this process.
- At first it paralyzes me.
- Then I find every other task that NEEDS to be completed first.
- Then I finally hit a point where I admit my creative avoidance.
- That’s when I begin by accessing my resources.
- And then I just need to sit down and begin.
- And make sure there are a lot of snacks in the house.
But above all, I continue to learn and realize… I’m a much better ME when I surround myself with people who believe in me and push me beyond my limits.
On October 13th, I’ll be the one in the graduation cap! Beside my Master’s buddy, Laura in her’s :)