Emotions and Dissertations
September 19th is the birthday of the emoticon. On this day in 1982, Scott Fahlman posted the first emoticon — 🙂 — on a Carnegie Mellon message board and asked users to include it in messages to indicated whe they are joking. Doctoral students experience their own catalog of emotions throughout the dissertation journey…
The dissertation can be a solitary pursuit. Students often report feeling lost and alone, that they have no one with whom to commiserate or celebrate.
Feeling lost and confused quickly leads to excessive worrying about your dissertation project. Students often report being preoccupied with their dissertation projects at work, at home, even while “relaxing with family and friends.
Over time, worry tends to give way to stress. Stress is often accompanied by feelings of anger. That the process is unfair. That your committee is unfair. That progress is halting. That success is unsure.
Graduation brings with it many feelings: relief, accomplishment, uncertainty about what’s next, and, of course, joy. When you finally reach the summit, it’s time to celebrate!