The thesis process for history majors is going to change next year, so my year is the last class year that has a required thesis paper. The paper is due at the end of the first semester, which is really great because then you get Spring semester off* (*to apply for graduate programs or jobs). The paper itself is a really cool experience to research something that interests you as an individual. It also gives you the validity to go into an academic space and look through all their cool resources, and if anyone asks why you’re getting your grimy little paws all over their first edition of I Ching you can say that you’re ~thesising~ and they’ll back off, when in reality, you’re studying ancient Roman empires that have nothing to do with Chinese Classic Texts or divination, but you had read The Man in the High Castle and you’re just trying to figure out whats going to happen to you post-graduation.
It also feels great when first years ask what your thesis is about and you start going off on your long rattle, but then you remember who really cares about these things except for you? But then you look up and they are ENTHRALLED and your faith in academia is once again restored.
Then you go home for break, and you meet up with your old friends, which is always fun but highly uncomfortable especially when they bring up your major!! Having chosen a STEM™ field, they always feel entitled to remind you that they are ~~~practically~~~ guaranteed a job, and what are you doing again? Law School? or are you becoming *nose rockets towards the sky* a professor?
Ok so maybe it’s not that dramatic, but you would be shocked at how many people have tried to tell me that their undergraduate degree in engineering will 100% get them a job with 6 figures right out of undergraduate, and they don’t understand why the humanities are important. Which makes me go on my long angry, but revised, thesis rant about how uncovering silences in historical narratives are integral to our understanding of the world in general, but then they interrupt me and ask if I even know what an integral is in regards to math (I DO! You need to find it in relation to a function with respect to the X! It’s also called an anti-derivative!!! Take THAT!).
Then you come back to school for the rest of the term and lock yourself in your room until you finish your thesis. When you emerge, it’s day light savings so you really don’t get to see the sun for the last month of writing , but it’s worth it because you have just written your thesis and who CARES because you are SO CLOSE to turning your thesis in and literally you will be done, done, done with it!!!
But then you remember that you really loved writing and researching and part of you kind of wants to do it all again…