“It was kind of impossible for my adviser and me to not to become friends,” says Beatrice Kim, who recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in psychology.“He coached me through my panic and crisis of wanting to change research topics, and was really a mentor to me.” You’ll be working one-on-one with your faculty adviser, and chances are, you’ll come out with an even stronger relationship and a mentor whose help will extend past your graduation.
That was definitely the case for Beatrice, who scored a job on her faculty adviser’s recommendation.
But don’t just think of the post-grad benefits of this relationship.
“One of the great advantages of the university is the generation of knowledge, and there are interesting topics to be explored across all disciplines,” he says.
“While there may be some fields that students associate with an honors thesis more than others, it is a misconception that there is more benefit or appropriateness for them.” If you’re lucky, by now you have at least one professor who you’ve gotten to know outside the classroom.
Remember the good old days of college, when the most important decisions you had to make were things like what classes to take, who to sit by on the first day and whether or not to blow off your psych lecture… Alright, so maybe the early years had a bit more weight than that, but when you have to decide whether or not to write an honors thesis, those decisions seem like child’s play.
Now, you face a new, more daunting question: Do you want to dedicate much of your final year in college to grueling hours of research and writing a lengthy project of your own devising?
“Simply put, you will be smarter,” says Gary Alan Miller, the former senior assistant dean of academic advising at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“The depth of work required will truly help you process your world differently.” We’ve all heard of the elusive post-grad “real world” and have joked about how college has left us woefully unprepared for it.
“I was in a class with him last winter and it was the best history class I’ve taken.
His work isn’t exactly in what I’m writing about, but it’s within the same concentration, and he’s so generally good at teaching and thinking that I wanted to work with him regardless.