Thesis Tips for Rising Seniors

time-managementSenior year is very bittersweet. On one hand, it is your last year of college and you are at the top of the totem pole. You have tons of life experience and memories under your belt. You are ready to move on to bigger and better things like grad school or the workforce. On the other hand, it is your last year of college. It is the last few months of the best years of your life. This is the time to make those lasting memories with the college friends you may inevitably end up disconnecting from.

Your final year is fun but it is also a lot of work. Trying to balance classes, your thesis, internships, work, sports, and a social life can get overwhelming. The senior thesis is a huge part of your final year in college. It allows you to sum up all the things you have learned in four years into a great piece of work. Unfortunately, it can sometimes cause a great deal of unnecessary stress if you are not organized. To help out people who may already be stressing, I spoke with some seniors around campus. They gave me their best words of advice for getting through your thesis.

Start early. Everyone I talked to agreed that starting early is a huge help. Having at least a clear plan of deadlines ahead of time also helps you to get organized. Jenna Chirico said that you should do as much work as you can over winter break. That way, you have less to do when you get back to school.

Manage your time. Like I said before, senior year is hectic. When juggling so many things, it can be intimidating to take on a thesis. Erin Gutkind told me time management is key to a successful year. Planning to work bit by bit is better than pulling all-nighters to finish an entire chapter.

Make a power playlist that keeps you motivated. Kendall Davis said this is how she keeps herself powering through two theses for Theatre and English. Good music can make the time pass more quickly and lets you zone out while working hard.

Pick a topic that truly interests you. This was another common piece of advice from seniors. A thesis is a yearlong commitment of research and hard work. If you choose a topic that you do not care about, you will find any excuse not to work on it.

Set aside one day a week that you don not let yourself think about it at all. This is another great piece of advice from Kendall Davis. Giving yourself a chance to relax is very important for your physical and mental health. It is also important to remember that you are still young and there is no need to be so busy and stressed all the time.

Try to get an internship or job the summer before. Anna Windle got an amazing internship last summer in Florida doing research on sea turtles. She is now able to include her research experiences in her thesis. Washington College offers tons of internship and job opportunities around the country and on campus. Utilizing these to your benefit can help you get ahead of the game.

Senior year may seem intimidating but do not forget to have fun! Everyone makes it through the year with amazing memories and a huge sense of pride after completing a thesis.

Sierra Montuori

Staff Writer

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