Student - 4 november 2019

The thesis end & emotional rollercoasters

Everyone experiences the thesis period in a different way. Resource blogger Donatella Gasparro was excited to ride the wave, although she doesn't know yet how this all will be received: her presentation and examination are this week. 'It is basically a baby being born.'

© Sven Menschel

It’s been a while since my friends have started presenting their final theses, and assisting at all of their colloquia is always a bit of an emotional moment: the end of a journey, pride, satisfaction, anticipation of when you’ll actually present yours, a bit of desperation, relief, joy and sadness. Ok - maybe not an emotional moment but more of an emotional rollercoaster.
After weeks of writing and days of desperate formatting (and nights as well, as Word, with all its disappearing pictures and fucked up tables, decided to come visit me in my dreams – or nightmares) I eventually decided: my report was ready. Considering the reaction for other people’s colloquia, it will not surprise you that when I finally printed the hard copies of my own thesis, staring at the printer and looking at the clean and warm sheets coming out, I almost felt like crying. It was basically a baby being born. .

Who said that science has to be boring, visually unappealing and hard to understand?

Feels good
I imagine everyone experiences the thesis period in a different way. When it comes to personal projects, whether it’s for school or anything else, I tend to pick and do things I am extremely excited about. And, although excitement and motivation go in waves, I put a lot of energy and attention in these projects, and when products are ready and I’m fairly happy about them, it feels really good. After all, before starting this thesis, for more than half a year I had been poking teachers and future supervisors to make It happen– and it eventually worked, and I got to do & research almost all I wanted to get done & researched.
I even managed to sneak illustrations and graphics into the thesis paper. Because hey, who said that science has to be boring, visually unappealing and hard to understand? Visuals and aesthetics matter more and more - and I was excited to ride the wave. I still do not know how this all will be received: my presentation and examination are this week…

Disappointment
As I was communicating my accomplishments (a.k.a. my report submission) to friends and family in Italy, I had to disappoint them several times. The most common question thy asked me was: “Oh, then you’re graduating! When’s that happening? Congrats!”. I would right away dampen their enthusiasm with a “No no no, here it works differently, I still have to do my Internship!”. In fact, in Italy most of the times thesis and internships are the same project, and the thesis discussion coincides with a massive graduation ceremony. My family will be disappointed when they’ll fly over to Wageningen to assist at the modest and rather funny WUR MSc graduation ceremony, when it’s finally my turn…