My undergraduate University career has now ended, with the dissertation handed in on the 7th, the grad ball on the 8th, and much drinking beyond. At the end of the day, I decided I liked as the name Orta for my project, but cheers to all those who tried playing around with ideas for names. As is expected of these things, printers jammed and print credits ran out with minutes to the deadline. As per tradition, I’d had little sleep when I handed in after 5pm on the deadline day. Source code will hopefully pop up on Sourceforge when it’s cleaned up some, and the dissertation also.
So I’m left with the unusual feeling of uncertainty about what to do with my spare time now. After months of focussing mainly on project work, it’s difficult to switch off from it completely, straight away. Actually, that’s a lie. Vegging out in front of the telly watching all the bizarre Michael Jackson coverage is rather easy, but I still get an unerring pang of guilt for not working at times. I’m sure that’ll pass soon enough. I’m working for two weeks on the Robbie the Robot stuff of yesteryear. Stepping down to a more normal full-time working week seems to be a reasonably safe way of winding down, when I’m not drinking.
The only thing left for my degree is to graduate, and one hour of ceremony dictates an official end to precedings, mirroring that of the freshers address almost 5 years ago. I recall where I was sitting in the Bute hall at said address, and it’s wierd to think that it was so long ago.
I can look back on my University career now and be pleased with it, the experience, the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve kept. Regrets are only the friends I’ve fallen out of touch with.
Of all the years, each had a different feel, a different circle of friends, a different routine. I shall recap each here, in brief.
If I had to rate my years in terms of enjoyment, I’d have to put first year up front as the most enjoyable socially, and fourth year up as most enjoyable academically. Fifth year was almost “Fourth year, but less fun”. First and second year were possibly the best years of my life, so far.
I’m still glad I went for the MSci. I’m very pleased with my project, and will likely write about it somewhere online soon. It might serve as a good basis for a Ph.D., should I choose to carry on. I was given the (possible, given financing at their end) opportunity of starting a Ph.D. in January ‘06, which would offer a nice long break away from the uni completely, and yet not as long a break as a full year away. This might be a good option, or it might not be. It might be that the only reason for me to do a Ph.D. would be to be called Dr. rather than Mr. We’re already looking to submit a paper on my project to a conference within the next few weeks; the Ph.D. seems like the natural conclusion, but it feels like all too easy a progression. So easy that I question whether it’s the correct thing to do, or if I really should go into industry for a bit.
My second grad ball was a good laugh. The absence of a ceilidh was somewhat surprising, but then being able to identify all items of food on the table was a bonus, even if the standard confusion over what cutlery to use at points was present. The hotel this year was a spectacular choice for the grad ball. A very enjoyable evening was had, and the grad ball folks pulled off a good evening for all. Spoonie as after-dinner speaker was an obvious, and excellent, choice.
I’ve been toying with the idea of stopping blogging, and leaving this as some sort of story of my university career. From the moment of my acceptance at Glasgow in 2000, to approaching graduation just now, seems all very neat and tidy. The blog acts as a record of my achieving a certain level of maturity in my writing not present many years ago, and perhaps of the growing cynicism University harbours in its students. It’s not all over yet though, as results are out later today, and graduation pictures will possibly be forthcoming.
I suppose as this is a fairly retrospective post regarding University finishing, I should thank the cast, the nameless many who made the last five years what it was: thoroughly enjoyable. Cheers!