Today I attended a meeting with all the honors thesis students in my department. At least, that was what GCal called it. It might as well have been retitled, “Impostor Syndrome: The Meeting.” Because seriously? My dominant thoughts upon leaving that meeting:
- Do I want to do this research? I don’t want to do this research. I signed up because of parental pressure!
- I can’t write anything this long. I can’t write. I have forgotten how to type and my fingers are numb, because I am an idiot. I bet they teach you how to type in SURE.*
- The IRB is going to read my sad application for approval, track me down while I’m trying to flintknap in the Anthropology moat**, and break my kneecaps with a bat. I deserve this.
These meetings! Not reassuring! I left the one today resolved to quit writing my thesis and, I don’t know, go commit ritual seppuku. (Or just take eight credit hours this semester and call it good. But that would be sad.)
After this particular meeting, I left feeling like I was perhaps an idiot for not taking my graduate-level course this semester, as my department will be offering two–yes, two–graduate courses next semester. One of which we are not allowed to take, as we are not real graduate students and it is a core course. (The other is in paleolithic technologies, which is awesome, but… unlikely to relate to Facebook.)
None of this is related to my advisor (wonderful!) or the department undergrad wrangler (hilarious! And vaguely reminiscent of Kathy Reichs!). But I feel like every other student in that room has had an undergraduate research experience very much related to their (very scientific) topic of choice, and has learned the analytical skills that the department does not otherwise give its undergraduates. And that freaks me out.
But seriously? There was no way that I could have done that. I was at the wee campus for two years, and then I was in Senegal for half of last year. Even if I had made broader connections in this department, it wouldn’t matter because straight up half the faculty are on sabbatical next semester.
I’m freaking out a little, is what I’m saying. And I do not feel prepared.
To calm myself, I think I’m going to make a thesis outline.
- Literature Review
Seems legit. Right? Totally.
If you need me, I’ll be in the moat.
* I found the ugliest site on the Emory official domain! I win!
** It’s where the trees are on the left. It’s covered in broken volcanic glass and moose antlers.