Posted in Humour

How not to write your thesis

Image Credits: Alice Zhang

Thinking of getting a master’s degree or embarking on a thesis? Let me help you with the essentials. First of all, as an intro: be sure to sign up in a graduate program which is not to be completed in your mother tongue. This should really give you a head start with hating your life. You may skip this part, but it really does help with losing your shit.


  1. One of the most important things in maintaining non-existent progress and excessive anxiety is to keep away from your thesis and anything related to it for days — preferably weeks. This guarantees an immoderate aversion towards writing every time you attempt a comeback.
  1. Refrain from doing anything other than the thesis: eat, sleep, exercise, fun. In fact, at all times, hold your thesis and its progress as a hostage. No progress, no life — simple!
  1. Re: fun things. Always, always, think of what your supervisor would think of you having fun since you didn’t complete chapter three when you were supposed to.
  2. OK, shit. Now, freak out about not having completed chapter three.
  1. Re: freaking out: let yourself completely go on a tangent about how
    • you’ll never graduate
    • everyone in your faculty despises you
    • you’ll end up a meth head in a gentrified Gastown ditch
  1. For the love of gawd, don’t ask for help. There is a saying in Finnish that goes “Suffer, suffer, you’ll earn the shiniest crown.” (Yep, it’s biblical af.) So, just suffer silently with your editing. Weak people ask for help.
  1. As we have established, it’s good to let things blow completely out of proportion. Hence, as if your supervisor’s commentaries were not enough already, entertain yourself with taking interpretation of any other communication with le superviseur to the next level — preferably out of orbit.
    Example – emails: “‘Best, George.’ What do you mean, ‘Best, George’?! Last week it was ‘Warmly, George’! He hates me.” 
  2. Now that we’ve got the basics covered, you should also start comparing yourself to other people. Assume that everyone is doing better than you. After all, grad school is kind of not a big deal — that’s why everyone goes there.
  1. Forget about your pride: It is possible, very possible, that you will cry. Possibly, a lot. On campus, off campus. Supervisor’s office, co-supervisor’s office, lunch, bus, bus stop — you name it. But hey, worry not, I’m sure it’s gonna be a great thesis!
  1. A few words about perfectionism: wipe your rear with it. 
  2. Aaand when it comes to wiping, please do the same with your old drafts. Never look at them. Ever.


Now go on, child; run and make your mistakes!