Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Academic Anxiety: Writing a Masters Thesis

Two weeks into my final semester of graduate school, I am filled with anxiety as the due date for my masters thesis looms. In our research seminar we write and bring our material to the group for feedback, and this week the primary task was locking down a title. Who knew that a sentence fragment could cause so much stress?!? I find myself staring at a computer screen, the cursor blinking at the top of a blank page, overcome with dread and a sense of pressure that increases day by day.

What will I write? How much will this piece affect my career after graduation? What if I decide to go in a different direction, and my thesis no longer fits my needs? What if what I create is completely useless? What if it is genious and I can't live up to it in the real world? Worse, what if I fail?

I feel so much pressure surrounding the MATESOL thesis, having worked so hard for so long to get to this point, and full of fear as to what the future holds.

I know that I am my own toughest critic, and that most (if not all) of this pressure is self-imposed, but I can't help caring desperately about the quality and success of my work.

Am I alone? Does anyone else experience this crippling anxiety when it comes to academic research and dissertation? How do you get through it? Please share!

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