Being back on campus means we’re back to life, back to reality, and back to cringe-worthy small-talk with peers. Your conversational options are pretty much a) the weather, b) the weather wherever you went for break, or c) the status of your thesis topic and progress.
I would rather talk about Boston winters for the rest of college than speak to another person about “how my thesis is going.” Either I’m having a bad day and your question will set off the tears I’ve been holding in since I got to Widener at 9:07a.m., or I’m having a good day, and you’ve got me revved up about my topic. And since we both know you don’t really want to hear my analysis of a particular quote from a 1940s radical feminist memoir that will certainly win me the Hoopes, I’ll probably end up crying in that circumstance too. I’ve shaved years off my life expectancy worrying over something that will make your eyes glaze over before you’re even finished asking about it.
I downloaded Candy Crush. I play it more than your one weird aunt ever did in 2010. I see it when I close my eyes in the wee hours of the morning.
I’ve watched the entirety of The Great British Baking Show. Multiple times. I’ve attempted to make puff pastry and started a fight with my mom about how much butter I can purchase and still be “healthy.”
Speaking of healthy, I’ve started working out. I’ve been on campus for the last two weeks and I’ve been to the MAC more times during this period than the entire rest of college combined. All I’ve learned is that the gym is an even sadder place to be stressed than the library, because everyone else who shows up to the gym at 6 a.m. is really excited to be awake and sporty.
Now that others who aren’t thesising are starting to get back to campus, I’ve actually interacted with people (outside of the silent nod when we’re both scanning the reading room in Widener). This would be nice if not for every one of these interactions involving some inquiry about my thesis. As if I haven’t spent every waking moment of the past two “winter break” weeks (plus most sleeping moments—shoutout to my thesis nightmares) anxiously working on it or guiltily procrastinating working on it.
For God’s, Anaïs Nin’s, and my sake, please stop asking me about my thesis. It’s terrible and scary and I don't want to think about it even when I’m working on it. Any interaction with a human who isn’t my advisor is blocked off in my GCal is a break, so when you ask me about it, don’t be surprised if I ignore you and blab about Mary Berry instead.