Anxiety. It’s been a fairly consistent part of my life for as long as I can remember, but this past week has been something else. It started last Friday night, two days out from my first thesis draft being due, when I sat down and realised how severely lacking I was in the word count department. It continued through Saturday when I wrote up my “Design” chapter, hoping it would miraculously be 5,000 words long. It continued through the two hours on Saturday night I wasted googling “how short is too short thesis”. It continued through Sunday as I desperately stretched my 4796 words to 5283. By this point, I had been planning to have about 8000 words. By the looks of things, that’s how long my entire thesis is going to end up. I just don’t know how to waffle.
But a deadline is a deadline, so I sent it off to my supervisor, and enjoyed a brief respite from the intense desire to throw up everything I’ve ever eaten. On Monday morning however, it came rushing back as I lay in bed and allowed myself to properly think about something that had been in the back of my head all weekend. My timeline is fucked.
A month for design, a month for build, a month for presentation. Sounds super neat when I put it that way. Problem is I know design, I’ve spent five fucking years studying it and what I achieved in the past four weeks could easily have been done in two. What I don’t know, is how to program a Raspberry Pi with various connected sensor boards and actuators, create a REST API and an associated PHP/SQL driven website. All of these being things I have to achieve in the next 3 weeks if I am to have a working prototype by the 25th. As well as build all of this into a fully constructed dress by the 8th of August, and writing the aforementioned missing 3-7000 words.
There is basically no way I’m going to complete my thesis project in time. I haven’t been able to eat properly since Friday an it’s unlikely I will again untile August. I’m in for a really, really shitty couple of months, during which I may fail something for the first time in my extended academic career. Naturally it felt like the right time to recommence talking to the internet