The spring semester at my university has just come to a close, and with it came the completion of my undergraduate thesis. I was ambitious and decided to begin and complete this project my junior year – a year earlier than students typically complete their theses. With my favorite series Once Upon a Time coming to a close and being enrolled in a course studying the theoretical archive, I chose to explore the ways in which Once Upon a Time, and consequently its spinoff series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, redefined the term “fairy tale” by reexamining the theoretical archive. The following list contains just a few of the wonderful things I learned this semester.
1. Long nights and lack of sleep are worth it (but taking time for yourself is still important)
Prolonged sleep deprivation is never fun, and it was at all-time high for me this semester. Having said that, the early mornings and late nights were beyond worth it now that I have a solid project (that I can use as a writing sample when applying to graduate programs) to call my own. I put in the time and effort and now I can physically hold the final copy.
2. I actually grew to like academic writing
I never cared much for academic writing because I never got to write about anything I was personally interested in. However, as long as I could tie my topic into the course material, I got to choose my thesis topic. This ignited a new passion in me and is making me contemplate going to the academic route for my masters as opposed to the creative writing route.
3. Receiving feedback can be challenging (and how to better edit and revise in general)
I have never been the best at receiving feedback, no matter what it’s been for. I have actively been working to get better at it, though, and my thesis helped with that. It’s easy to get disheartened when you get feedback as it can sometimes seem overtly negative, but you have to keep in mind that the person giving it to you is simply doing what they can to help. In so doing I discovered that it’s easiest for me to take a couple days after getting feedback to let it sink in and then pick up the revision process after a little time has passed.
4. I’m capable of producing something with value
Though it seems simple, this was huge for me. Everything I’ve done has always been assignments that only one professor will see and they’re never worth sharing. However, thanks to the freedom my undergraduate thesis granted me, I was able to craft something that I’m tremendously proud of and that sparked so much interest and passion in me. Even though my thesis is complete, I’m regarding it as a beginning, because I now want to continue my research of fairy tales even more.
5. I just really love Once Upon a Time
Of course I already knew this, but even after spending an entire semester researching the lore that built the series and examining all archival aspects of the series my love for the series never wavered. I could truly spend forever studying fairy tales.
As always, comment below and tweet us @Fuzzable with your experiences regarding academia, college life, and theses!