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Thesis and Anxiety: Surviving the Last Challenge before Graduation

27-Feb-2020

Every college student knows that at the end of their last year of college, they are bound to make an extraordinarily long and hard paper for their professor. This may be of any topic, as long it it related to their course or degree. Thesis writing is crucial in determining the academic standing of the student, an intricate project that would allow them the chance to finally graduate from college. It is the last designated work for them, and their thesis would be one of the bases for their final grade. The thesis may be submitted in the form of the written paper or dissertation, documentary films, case studies, or even actual projects or proto-type machines or designs.

A student on his last year in college truly understands the importance of thesis writing. Not only is it the final requirement for graduation, the thesis also allow the student to prove his ability to understand and apply his course to solve a given problem --- which then serves as the rationale for the study. 

The thesis is supposed to show the student's critical analysis, presentation skills, writing ability, and discipline in doing all the necessary research and background.  Ideally, the thesis is also supposed to demonstrate how the students will fare in the real world in terms of their ability to prepare their research materials, establish contacts, and make sense of each and every problem or issue they will encounter.

Making a thesis paper can be truly stressful experience.  Most college students see thesis making as the “main event” in their college life.  The excitement lies in getting together as a group, spending long days and sleepless nights doing research and re-writing drafts.  What often puzzles college students is the ability of their thesis adviser to see every minute detail that needs to be corrected --- every single time.   Of course, the initial excitement of doing the thesis eventually wears off.   This excitement is replaced by stress, fatigue, and anxiety --- emotional and physical distresses that naturally come with such an arduous academic task.

Anxiety actually occurs even before the start of the act of thesis writing. It starts with the student's need to identify and seek approval for a proposed thesis topic. If done as a group, some members will get anxious about meeting deadlines and the need to ensure that everybody cooperate in doing the research. Feelings of worry and fear are often felt during the thesis writing process since they always have to follow strict format rules and guidelines, and they have to get the approval of their professor at every step of the writing process.  Feelings of restlessness, tension, irritability, and headaches are signs of anxiety that thesis group mates are bound to experience. However, to feel anxiety is quite normal since the students will usually be doing their undergraduate thesis for the very first time --- with absolutely no benefit of previous experience.

The last part of the thesis writing process is actually causes more anxiety among the thesis writers.  Facing a panel interview is not exactly something that a thesis writer or a thesis group looks forward to.  Defending every word in every page to a panel of professors can actually make students experience performance anxiety.  Some thesis writers try to overcome performance anxiety by practicing their defense weeks before the actual panel interview.  Anxiety cannot be avoided in these situations, and the best way to deal with it is for students to be ready and confident with their thesis approach, findings and possible defense or responses to possible questions about their work. Those who overcome performance anxiety usually do well in the panel review and get good grades for their thesis,

For many college students, the words thesis and anxiety go together.  But those who overcome their worries about the thesis are rewarded their much sought-after college degree, and the opportunity to try  out solving real problems in the real world beyond the college campus.

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