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Should You Write a Thesis?


In a moment of panic over lunch with my parents junior spring, I said, “I don’t know if I want to write a thesis.”  My parents’ reaction was instant and strong: “You love writing!  You are absolutely writing a thesis!”



Obviously, you shouldn’t write a thesis just because your parents want you to.  If I had genuinely felt that I didn’t want to write one, I could have convinced my parents of that decision.  What I will say is, don’t decide not to write one just because you’re panicking that you don’t think you could finish it.  If you honestly cannot, you can change the course into a special topics and everything will be just fine.  But writing a thesis turned out to be one of the most rewarding things I’ve done at Amherst, so if you’re on the fence, I would definitely advise coming up with a proposal and giving it a shot. 



So you’re not sure what you want to write about: that’s fine.  Most peoples’ theses change drastically throughout the course of the year.  The thesis I wrote was incredibly different from the one I proposed, as were the books I used.  Even a few weeks before my thesis was due, I was still coming up with new ideas that changed my work significantly.



You’re worried it will be too much work: a thesis isn’t more time-consuming than other classes at Amherst, plus you’re designing your work.  You get to read what you want to read, and write what you want to write. 



You’re terrible at managing your time: that’s where your thesis advisor comes in.  He or she will give you deadlines and make sure you stay on track.  If you’re someone who needs constant deadlines, just tell your advisor that at the beginning of the year.



Obviously, writing a thesis isn’t for everyone, and given the amount of awesome classes offered at Amherst, you may not want to give up two of your classes.  But if you’re considering it at all, go for it!  You may just learn a whole lot about yourself in the process.  Plus once you turn it in, senior spring is mad chill J

Evelyn is the Editor-in-Chief of the Amherst branch of Her Campus. She was a features intern at Seventeen Magazine during the summer of 2011 and a features intern at Glamour Magazine during the summer of 2013. She is a French and English major in the class of 2014 at Amherst College. She is also on Amherst's varsity squash team. She is an aspiring travel writer/novelist, and loves running, ice cream, and Jane Austen.
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