If you, like me and many others are in the final part of your study, you will find what follows familiar.
You may have find out that writing a thesis is a great life exercise. You are trying to keep everyone happy, by juggling between a lot of different things in a very short time span. As many things in life, the results are also proportionally dependent by the amount of effort, a tiny sprinkle of luck and how much you are interested in what you are doing. Following the previous article on the thesis posted on this channel, we will now explore how to reduce with the thesis stress (if you were looking for a way to NOT stress, we do not perform miracles, sorry).
Every thesis is (hopefully) unique. Although the situations that can cause stress are pretty much common to the most. If you received the green light after your proposal and got a supervisor assigned, you are on the starting block of this great experience.
Your supervisor is your greatest ally, so make sure to fully exploit the time that you are meeting with her/him. It is a good tip to prepare a small list of specific things on which you would like to receive feedback on, and also questions about what would be next and how to best proceed. This will save you a lot of work in trying to figure out what your supervisor would like to see in your thesis. Do not overthink, ask instead. Also make sure to always send your material with good advance, so your supervisor will have time to read it. Teachers may have many students to follow, besides their normal teaching activities. Don’t assume you are the only one in super-extra-urgent need of a feedback.
The same applies to your company supervisor (if you have one), they are a live source of knowledge on the problem that you are researching about. Do not let it go waste!
This is really a personal preference, and study style. One thing that I came across by talking with other colleagues, is that the work organization is largely influenced by your supervisor, and partly by your company(ies).
If you have a supervisor that follows thoroughly a set of fixed deadlines where he/she expect you to be at a certain point in your thesis, then your work will be focused on how do certain amount of tasks in that amount of time. You are here and in three weeks you have to be there. This chapter needs to be completed. Those interviews are needed to be finished for the results, and so on.
On the contrary if your supervisor is pretty much leaving you to find your rhythm, be careful to not postpone too much. In this situation you are more likely to have a meeting to discuss some parts of your thesis, but not detailed indication on which parts. It is up to you, and it can go sideways pretty fast. To prevent extremely stressful situations, you need to be disciplined and take the drivers spot. You have a lot of freedom, use it wisely. Try to structure your work by following what learnt on research skill course, and of course you can always ask to fellow students and the supervisor.
Yep. Thesis writing is NOT just writing. Especially if you have chosen to write your thesis at a company. There would be more expectations from different parties, and usually what is great for academia works less for practice. Companies would love if you can help them to solve a problem, although sometimes it is not always possible in the short time span of a master thesis, and with the resources available. There will be times where you will not know what your topic is anymore, or how much more interesting are those other papers that you found although they really do not match with your research.
In these cases you may feel a bit overwhelmed but, really just keep in mind that this is in first place your thesis. Therefore, look at the deadlines and things to be done and find a way manage those expectations in the best way for completing your thesis. A good way is to ask feedbacks often and to keep all the parties involved.
In general, stay positive and give yourself discipline. Do not bury yourself with just the thesis, remember to take time for also yourself and your friends. It is a great way to kick productivity and to not hate your thesis.
And if you are really desperate you can always find yourself a good distraction with these awesome Netflix series.