The honours year is much more self-directed and experimental. It’s a chance to explore your own ideas unconfined by general class themes or direction. There is a lot of freedom to decide how you want your research to develop, and having the support of a personal supervisor for the whole year really pushes you to develop your practice in a way that is different from semester to semester projects.
Reflecting on all the adventures of the past university break, I could not believe how blessed I was to have had the opportunity to study and travel in China. As part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), ANU students have the chance to study at a partner university during the Australian winter. In July, I was one of 8 students lucky enough to spend a month in Beijing studying at Peking University. I chose to take two courses, one on the Chinese Economy, the other on the Rise of China and Change in World Politics.
Being still in my first year, I do lack the knowledge to pass on the top 10 best ways to ace your finals and even the locations of the best coffee spots on campus. I do, however want to lie upon you something far more valuable: my own haphazard experience as a novice at University. For what this article lacks in the tips and tricks to success, it makes up for in honesty. And if you’re wondering what specific facilities and opportunities set ANU against the rest; this article is not for you.
An Honours thesis can bring out strange things in a person. The flight response, manifesting itself in unparalleled procrastination skills, honed at last to sheer perfection. Perhaps a weeping capacity indicating a reservoir of tears you never knew you had. Or maybe a slow but inevitable transformation into a hunchback after nights of typing in the gloom or huddling in a corner, mumbling about referencing systems. The paths to living one’s truth as a thesis-writer are many, and I encourage you to explore them all.
Passing on lessons for how to make the most out of your ANU and CASS Community Some of life’s best lessons are learnt through experience, though others are learnt through chance encounters and accidental finds on the internet. This article does not intend to give you tips on how to do well at uni or any sort of advice. Instead, I simply wish to pass on the little pearls of wisdom I have accumulated throughout my years at ANU. I hope people stumble across this and learn a little something about what ANU or their specific CASS community has to offer them.
When I first set foot on ANU campus on Open Day in 2014, I took one look at the melee of students and the beautiful cherry blossom trees covering University Avenue and knew this was a place where I could spend the next five years of my life. That was the easy decision. But since I was from Melbourne and would need a place to live, I also needed to find a new home. Both my parents had lived in a college during their university days, so it seemed pretty straightforward for me to follow in their footsteps.
It’s 8am and I’ve been rudely awakened. Why did Hero pick the 9am tutorial on Monday? Surely someone told her to have better sense than that. I sluggishly boot up for her to check the location of her class, the Lost on Campus website providing the answer as always. It’s in Coombs. Oh great. The place is a rabbit’s warren of three hexagons over three levels which never really seem to match up. We’re bound to be late.
If you are reading this… congratulations, you are vastly more prepared for university than I was. No seriously, it turns out that my application to university hadn’t gone through and it was only until February that I knew where I was headed. By then, I had a few days to find accommodation and genuinely thought I was going to be homeless.