Personal · Veterinary Student Circle

Dissertation Frustrations

Thank goodness, I’m done with classes and having to cram for exams! I’m done with having to wake up at 5 in the morning to go to a class that the teacher is likely to cancel with no cordial warning. I’m done with having to see arrogant classmates who aren’t afraid to express how much more intelligent they are than others. So, what now? Well, in order to graduate I need to come up with a thesis investigation. Easy enough, right? I mean I already have a topic lined up, all I need to do is type it up into a proposal and pray to the veterinary gods that it gets accepted. Now, initially, I planned to do the dissertation on my own. See, in vet school, I was the type of girl who was very quiet. I didn’t raise my hand to reply to questions that I knew the answer to (mainly because of the fear of not being right), I didn’t interact with the teachers or try to become a pet, I didn’t go to the parties or get togethers and it’s not because I thought I was better than anyone else, I just didn’t relate to my class. I wasn’t totally antisocial either. I had my small group of friends and every now and then I would play a round of cards against humanity with the whole class. Just from observing people in class I thought I had a pretty good idea of each persons personality and character. Maybe, I was wrong.


Everyone kept insisting that I do my dissertation with a partner. They said it would get done faster if the work was divided by two. They said it’d be cheaper if the costs were divided by two. When I calculated the costs of all the lab analysis that would have to be done, I thought to myself that is a hefty load for one person, and so my search for a partner began. I asked people who I thought would be smart, fair, but most importantly responsible. After having to “break up” with a couple partners due to having different graduation dates in mind and things of that sort I finally settled on someone. This someone hadn’t even graduated but was already running a vet clinic on his own and he had expressed to me how he was having problems with his original thesis partner (because of her lack of communication). So I thought it was perfect! I could even volunteer in the clinic and gain experience and we’d also have an operating room to perform our surgeries! I was excited.


In my eyes, when there is work to be done and there are two people to do it the work should be evenly divided. It keeps both parties from feeling like they’re doing all the work. For 2 weeks I went to the clinic everyday and sat in the office to type up my part of the proposal. I would spend hours researching, translating, and reading, just to be able to make the deadline that I had put in place for us. I assigned him some of the easier parts, except for one that it didn’t matter how much I read about it, I could not understand how to do. To make a long story short, I have been patient with my partner, 3 months have gone by now and he has not done his part of the thesis. He said he had a friend who would write the segment that we didn’t understand and we waited a week and a half for this “friend” to send us the finished product. Turns out the friend hadn’t even given it a look in that week and a half.


To turn up the fire under his ass, I spoke to our mentor and told him that I’d have the proposal for his review by the following week. I proceeded to tell him, “hey kid, I’ve promised our mentor the first draft so finish it up by the end of the week please.” He said okay, sure, he’d have it done (like I haven’t heard thast one before). The end of the week rolls around and I ask him if he’s done it, to which he replies no. I start to go numb, the only thing I feel at this point is a burning sensation in my face. He says:

Partner: “How about we do something?”

Me: “Oh, you want me to write the whole thesis while you do all of the clinical work that’s needed. Is that it?” (i’m not a mind reader, he had proposed this to me a long time ago).

Partner: “Yes, the clinical work is the hardest part”

Me: “The clinical work isn’t the hardest part. I’ve cleaned dogs teeth before it is not that hard. I don’t think that deal is fair, but it’s kinda looking like I have no choice but to do all the work.”

There is more but I’d have to explain what our thesis is actually about to make it a bit clearer and this post is getting long enough. I’ve just about had it with this guy. He’s rarely at the clinic because he spends the day goofing off with a friend who owns a cosmetic surgery clinic next door. He dedicates close to NO time on our thesis. My graduation date was set for November of this year and I don’t think I’m gonna make that date. I thought I was a master procrastinator but this guy gets the award.


My cousin told me once that people usually end up despising their thesis partners…I think it’s turning out to be true. Was your dissertation struggles as bad as mine? How did you get over the bumps? I’d like to know!


Thanks for listening,


Eileen ❤




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