I turned in a draft of my dissertation yesterday. 453 pages, 7 chapters, 7 appendices (113 pages total), and a 21-page bibliography.
I spent two hours printing, and went through three reams of paper. I treated my 3-hole punch in a way that no trusted friend should be treated*. My office looks like ... well, you know what? I'll just show you.
I'm honestly surprised that it doesn't look worse. Still, I need to clean up and re-organize the piles of books.
I ended up working through the night on Sunday - something I promise myself never to do again each time it happens. But there I was again, using Excedrin to soothe my aching neck and keep me awake (I gave up diet soda a few weeks ago, but that's a story for another day).
In the end, I feel like I turned in a steaming pile of... something. As I told one of my committee members: "I'm sure you know how it gets at the end of a project: after reading it again and again it seems simultaneously like the best and worst thing I've ever put on paper." The good news is, I have two months to start making changes prior to my defense, especially to fix the gazillion errors in numbering (tables, sections, appendices) that I found as I was printing and hole-punching.
All I know is that it's a step toward the end of this 7-year process. There will be revisions (probably many), but my graduation announcements arrived in the mail last week, my cap, gown, and PhD hood have been ordered, and my parents have booked their plane tickets. Graduation this year is on May 4th, which I love. You know, "May the fourth be with you" and all of that.
*I have maintained, and will continue to maintain, that many of life's ills can be solved with a Swingline 3-hole punch and a Swingline stapler. These two tools have been my trusted allies through seven years of graduate school.