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Seniors who submitted their theses said they are looking forward to spending their newfound free time away from libraries and looming deadlines.
Although they said they were somewhat stressed during the writing process, several students reflected on thesis experiences with a sense of fulfillment.
Most seniors began planning their thesis during their junior year and began the writing process in their senior fall. Carlino Mark M. Natividad ’16, a joint concentrator in Government and East Asian Studies who wrote his thesis on differences in defense policy opinions between Japanese male and female political candidates, said his workload escalated as soon as he returned to campus for his senior year.
“I came back to campus in late August and started working on it for approximately three to five hours a week,” he said, “but then everything ramped up after winter break to be about five to 10 hours per week.”
Dianisbeth M. Acquie ’16, an English concentrator who wrote a collection of short stories for her thesis, had a similar work process. Still, turning in the thesis itself proved to be rewarding for both.
“I felt really proud of myself, and really happy that I had the opportunity to write a creative thesis. It was something that I was proud of having accomplished,” Acquie said.
Chloe Y. Li ’16, a Neurobiology concentrator, agreed. “It really felt like a capstone to my academic career here in college,” she said.
For Cindy Niu ’16, a Social Studies concentrator, her thesis experience was a formative one.
“Towards the end, I definitely think I grew a lot in terms of experience, sureness in myself, confidence in my ideas,” she said.
Now that the process is over, seniors are looking forward to spending their time in different ways.
Natividad, a member of the Senior Class Committee, is now busy working on planning activities for the Class of 2016, ranging from a cooking workshop to the upcoming Senior Champagne Brunch. In addition, Natividad said he plans on devoting more of his time to classes and extracurriculars.
Niu said she plans to spend the rest of her Harvard undergraduate career spending time with friends and looking ahead to what is next.
“I’d like to spend time with people I care about, and make lasting memories in the time that I have left,” she said. “I want to do a lot of self-reflecting about what it is that I want, and what I will find the most fulfilling.”
Acquie said she hopes to reflect on her past undergraduate experience.
“I’m spending a lot of time with my friends to remember the memories that we had in freshman year and in sophomore year,” she said. “It’s a lot of walking along memory lane these days.”
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