How I am keeping sane during my thesis writing
Hej hej! If you missed me, it may be because I was busy submitting a proposal for my Master Thesis. It is funny how I feel as though I arrived here the other day and right now I am working on my Thesis – time does fly! By doing a 1 year Masters programme in Information Systems, I have 2 months left to graduate! A Master thesis is no easy fit, I will tell you that. If you are wondering what makes a Master thesis such a huge task, Dena’s post will clarify this for you.
Writing a Master thesis for a 1-year programme is somewhat different from 2-year thesis because unlike the usual 6 months period, you get 3 months to complete your thesis. Because of this short time frame, it may not be possible to work with existing companies since most of them are looking for a longer commitment – 6 months. Because of limited time, you may be required to write it up with a fellow classmate. I have this option for my course at Lund University but these requirements may differ depending on specific course and university rules.
I have found a couple of things helping me keep my head above the water during this time.
1. Scavenging Study in Sweden Blogs for all the tips I can get.
It is interesting that now as I write for Study in Sweden and contribute to articles, I am still an avid reader of all the content that is posted by fellow ambassadors. This site has helped me from the time I considered coming to Sweden to now that I am in School and looking for answers about how to go about my thesis. There is literally an article for everything and the Master thesis is one of the topics that has been discussed over the years. So far, the blogs that have been helpful to me as I started my thesis include:
- Elke’s Master thesis tips for procrastinators
- Usisipho’s 6 tips on writing a Master Thesis
- Lara’s comprehensive guide on Thesis writing
- Sanjay’s take on how you can save yourself from being a Thesis zombie
2. Learning Self Management
I do not have many classes right now and will find that I have 1 or 2 lessons a week and meetings with my supervisor. A lot of free time is great, especially when the short and dark days are gone. You get out more and summer is just around the corner. However, if you are a procrastinator, it is easier to lose time and get stressed with deadlines. I am learning to be a bit more disciplined, pushing deadlines for myself and trying to live a balanced life.
3. Working out and getting ready for summer.
If you read my previous post on how I started playing women’s rugby in Lund, you will notice how interested I am in all matters sporty. Unfortunately, I took a brief break from practising during the winter but will be resuming training soon as the weather is turning out to be lovely. To get my dose of endorphins, I joined a beautiful gym in Malmo where I get to practise 3/4 times a week. The transit between Lund and Malmo is not that long – a 20-minute ride by train. There are several gyms in Lund but I prefer the 20 minute commute so that I can read up on some books. (Currently reading Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” ).
Working out at the gym I have found, sets a great tone of the day for me given that I am seated on a desk all day, read scholarly articles and trying to understand what all the academic jargon means. It is also a great motivation that summer is right around the corner and this body has to be summer-ready.
4. Enjoying the beauty of Spring
When reading takes its toll on me and I realise that I cannot read any more, I invent a study break. I live close to the beautiful Stadsparken Park. Taking a walk there allows me to clear my mind, get out of my head and remind myself that the Master Thesis is only but a fraction of what the world is.
5. Watching movies over the weekend
I reward the hardwork during the week days by doing something fun over the weekends. It could be a picnic, walk around the Botanical gardens, or a movie. Just the other week, they screened Rafiki, a Kenyan film that has won accolades at the Cannes Film Festival. I was very much looking foward to this. I enjoyed watching the movie so much because it reminded me a lot about my home country Kenya and also since it has a positive message to portray. Here’s a preview of it and am not biased but I will recommend that you watch it.
6. Counting down to the Final Season of Game of Thrones!
Whenever I feel bored or demotivated, I remember that I will be watching Game of Thrones Final Season in 2 weeks time and it’s giving me major goosebumps! But what does this have to do with my Master thesis, you ask? I believe my Sundays will no longer be the same. I need to work harder during my weeks so that I can reward myself with PLENTY of time to watch and recap each episode. Anyone doing the countdown with me?
7. Looking into the future and planning next steps.
When you start doing a Master Thesis, it finally hits you that your days at the university are numbered. I am more motivated to attend university functions and to make the most out of my student life. There are also several other plans to consider such as residence permit extensions, job hunting and dealing with accommodation contracts. But hey! One day at a time right?