Tips and tidbits for making the most out of your thesis space
It’s that time of the year. Thesis lotteries have finalized and seniors across all of Reed are settling in to the slow grind of thesis work. But before the not-so-slow turning of the gears begins, it’s time to decorate thesis desks and thesis offices! That’s right, we’re talking about the little shifts and shoves that can make this thesis space your own, from much needed blankets and cold medicine to comforting family photos and Funko Pops! So, below, I give you a list of semi-serious solutions to get yourself off on the right foot in this final journey through Reed.
Let’s begin with the basics: your “chair.” Now, you could keep the chair that came assigned to you with your desk, but do you necessarily want to keep that uneven, well-worn chair all year long? If you can’t afford or readily find a snazzy new or generally more comfortable chair, consider the alternatives: an attachable chair cushion (bought or made), a beanbag, a couch, or a hammock. Hell, even bring your own sleeping bag or blanket! Some of these ideas might sound difficult to set up, but consider the envy everyone else will have when it’s 1:00 a.m. and you’re lounging in your very own Thesis HammockTM while everyone else is suffering from poor posture and discomfort!
Next up, desk accessories! These could range from photos of you and your loved ones to pop culture figurines, happy little plants to green up your surroundings (try to get ones that can endure at least as much strain as you can, for the sake of their health!), a stress relief ball, or a collage of all the memes you can possibly fit to remind you of all the reasons to keep going when you can’t think of any yourself. The extent of this decoration can range from a couple of items on an otherwise clear, down-to-business desk, all the way to a desk overflowing with the glories of your accessorization! I mean, who has to worry about getting a thesis done when there’s no desk left to work on, anyways? Just write your thesis on the decoration of your desk, turn it in with a couple figurines to prove your point, and call it a day.
Up next, naturally, comes liquid encouragement! Don’t jump the gun on this one, as alcohol is not likely your best form of bringing about a productive thesis session. Water, tea, and coffee, however, might just do the trick. Try to create a little drink station at your desk, in a drawer or on a shelf, that includes a mug and various teas/instant coffee/your drink of choice at the ready. Napkins, sugar, and stirring rods are also not bad ideas, and if you happen to be in a thesis office, try to all chip in on a couple electric kettles and/or coffee pots as well! Having a mini fridge could also help the drink situation, allowing you to store anything from cold yerba mates to iced coffees — and, if you really choose to go down that road, energy drinks.
Last, before the really practical stuff, decorating your thesis space beyond the desk! This can range from lighting to wall decorations to whatever else you can think of. Some great yet relatively minor additions could include fairy lights and a “natural spectrum” Happy Lamp to keep your space enchanting while keeping seasonal depression at bay. Whatever helps you brighten up the space and give your eyes a nice rest away from all the work, especially if you don’t have a window!
Most importantly, though, here are the real practical additions to a thesis space. First and foremost, power strips and extension cords are invaluable for plugging in chargers, lamp cords, kettles, and the like, especially if you are in an office where these outlets are sparse. In addition, consider having not just a trash can but some kind of recycling bin as well (you know, for all the crumpled papers of late night outline ramblings that you’ll be making later down the road). Try to always keep a blanket or jacket close by for when it gets too cold. If the Reed Plague™ finally catches up with you (it always does), it might be nice to have some tissues, vitamin C, pain meds of your choice, and cold medicine stashed alongside all your tea and coffee for that extra support. And don’t forget the basic essentials: pencils and pens, erasers, highlighters, and sticky notes! Finally, see if you have the room for some extra planning space around your desk, such as a mini whiteboard or calendar, to help stay organized as all the deadlines and flashes of insight come and go.
Perhaps you are still completely overwhelmed by the thought of being a senior, or perhaps you are already in the zone chipping away at that thesis, but remember that both your thesis and your thesis space are what you make of it. It’s nice to know that you have your small comforts, and you always have each other. Reedies, you can do it!