On nearly finishing a thesis

I’m going to be finished tonight.

I’ll still have my table of contents to do and I’ll have to tidy bits up and get someone to proofread it etc, but other than that it’ll be done tonight. After four years, my thesis is done. Finished. Críochnaithe. Finito.

At many times I thought it wouldn’t happen. But it will.

I have been putting off a lot of things till after my thesis. But now, I’ll have no more excuses. I feel like a prisoner who’s about to be set free. After four years, will the constant guilt end? That ceaseless nagging feeling that I should be working on my PhD? The feeling that I’m not good enough. That I don’t know enough. That I haven’t read enough. That I haven’t written enough. Will it go? I hope so. I feel lighter already. I woke up feeling positively nonchalant. And I’ve been humming happy songs all day.

I’m currently writing my conclusion. And it’s easy. The words are flowing. But it’s not a good feeling.

What I don’t like about writing about real people in a thesis is that I see my “analysis” in print and becomes a truth. This is a person’s life and I’m turning it into a series of “social influences” and “negotiated identities” and “dialogic experiences” and “illusions of inner truth” and I feel dirty. I feel like I’ve taken a person and degraded him.

But once I get this conclusion done, I’ll get my joy back. And I can start living again.

Don’t celebrate yet. I still have three or four hours of writing left to do tonight. And I will spend the week tidying it up. And when I hand it in on Friday, that’s not the end, because there are still about six months of work with the viva (oral defence) and whatever corrections that results in. But I’m nearly finished. And I will be happy. Very.

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