Okay. I dropped out of graduate school. I was really sick of working on my thesis (seriously. I would get stomachaches and things). I was to the point where I was worrying about it all the time and procrastinating all the time and then when I did work on it it felt like I wasn't going anywhere. I thought about it a bit, and I decided that for the things I think would be really awesome to do in my life (be a video game journalist, make a video game, be a freelancer, be a mom), I don't need an MA. I would need an MA to teach composition, and I don't like teaching composition. It was a good experience to finish all the coursework for the degree--learning about feminism and aesthetics has been really helpful to how I criticize books and video games. But in the end I don't really need a master's degree in English.
So I'd like to do a postmortem kind of thing and maybe if you ever write a thesis you can avoid the mistakes I made.
Mistakes I Made:
-I was distracted with taking Japanese my last year in coursework. I liked studying Japanese a lot more than working on my thesis, which maybe says something about what I should have gotten a degree in.
-I sat on drafts. Early on in the drafting I pestered my adviser too much and he chastised me. Ever since, I was worried that I was bothering him. I would finish the things he told me to do and then try to anticipate what the next revision would be, instead of sending him back a draft quickly and waiting for a response. I should have worried less about being a bother and more about getting my tuition money's worth of feedback.
-I chose a professor on my committee who I had never worked with before, and she turned out to be kind of scary and have more sway over my other two professors than I thought she would. I wish I had had a professor on my committee that I felt better friends with--someone that I could have complained to a little but would also have been able to explain the weirdness of thesis-dom. I also would have liked someone on my committee who had read either House of Leaves or Portal. As it was, I felt like I could say anything about the works and no one would care whether or not my analysis rang true.
Frustrations with my Adviser (who is a nice person and a scholar and this isn't meant in a mean way, more as a retrospective, "I wish this had been different" way):
-Sometimes I would meet with him and he wouldn't have looked at my latest draft. Once he told me to make changes I had already made. This combined with my habit of sitting on drafts was frustrating.
-He had a vision for my thesis revision procedure that he didn't share with me from the beginning. Each time he gave me feedback, I was thinking "I'll do this and then it will be done," whilst he was thinking something like "after she reorganizes it, I'll tell her to reintegrate secondary criticism." When I found this out I was upset that our communication hadn't been clearer.