Undergraduate Student Blog, Speaking of Princeton

Undergraduate Student Blog

And I Did It!

Finishing my senior thesis

Well, I did it! On Apr. 28, 2017, I officially submitted my senior thesis to the Department of French and Italian. Hooray! I now know what alumni are talking about when they remember the senior thesis so vividly as the capstone of their Princeton experience. It was by all accounts a demanding project, but guess what? All of the hard work and hours spent researching and writing felt very much worth it when I submitted my bound copy to my department!

The tradition at Princeton is to take your picture by the tiger statues outside of our beloved Nassau Hall once you've completed and picked up your bound thesis. So here is my photo!

A photo of me and my thesis

A photo of me and my thesis.

During the process of writing my thesis, I learned so much. For starters, I learned more than I ever thought I would about higher education, a subject that greatly interests me and one that has inspired my thesis: "Educating the Elite: Examining the Role of Privilege within the Grandes Écoles and the Ivy League Schools." In the process of writing my 75-page thesis, I also learned how to format a table of contents and write an acknowledgements page (which was, by far, the most fun part to write!). Although I had been learning about how I work best throughout my four years here, this big project helped me understand even more about how and where I work most productively. I learned that I can write for about two solid hours before I need to take a short break, and I saw how important it was for me to plan achievable, short-term goals for completing each chapter and section. This kept me motivated and assured me that I was making steady progress. I learned that the Chancellor Green Cafe in East Pyne is one of my favorite places to work (since I have become much too social at the Frist Campus Center!) and that I concentrate best on writing in the afternoon or evening.

Throughout the process, I was reminded — on a whole new level — about the importance of caffeine and of course, sleep. Unfortunately, I was also reminded why it is so important to save your work often. But I also experienced how great it feels to have friends cheering you on and supporting you up until the very end (specific shout-outs go to my friends Mallika Viswanath, Poupée Sinsub, Cecilia Stoner — and my mom)!

In the end, I would say that my thesis-writing experience felt equally exciting, frustrating, exhausting and rewarding. And I think that this is how most Princeton seniors feel when they finally turn in their work — a mix of emotions, along with a whole lot of pride.