That Light at the End of the Tunnel Is Moving Toward You:
A Graduate Guide to the ABD Life 3

Every year, the Graduate Students Issues Committee (GSIC) organizes a panel on a topic of professional and practical interest to graduate students.  This year the panel topic is on approaching and surviving the dissertation years.  Classics graduate students know that the dissertation is always looming off in the distance, and many try to cope with the stress by not thinking about the arduous tasks of choosing a topic and writing a veritable book on a subject unless absolutely necessary.  It is our belief, however, that the most beneficial way to go about approaching the final years of one’s graduate career is to: 1) keep these tasks in mind from Day One, 2) learn more about the challenges of the dissertation years so that they will slowly lose the “terror of the unknown”, and 3) formulate the necessary plans and goals so as to better overcome any and all challenges.  It is encouraging to remember that thousands of Classics PhD’s have gone before us—and successfully finished.  The speakers gathered for this panel all speak from the wellspring of personal and hard-won experience, and it is our hope that our combined talks will go far in preparing all graduate students—both those who are currently writing the dissertation and those who have yet to become ABD—to cope with the challenges and complete the dissertation with sanity intact.

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