honours in a nutshell

PHEW! Guess what? I am going to submit my Honours thesis today. The last year has been amazing, the last months action-packed, and the last week a blur. I am going on three hours sleep right now, but that's not actually due to thesis-overnighting, surprisingly. One thing that has been strange for me, as a last-minute person, is that I haven't been as rushed as I expected to be. I've told my friends lately that I always thought I'd move into the Physics building for the last week of Honours, roaming the halls like a zombie and playing hide-and-seek at midnight and rapidly going insane. The insanity may have developed (or it may have been there already, depending on who you ask), but I didn't really spend that much time at uni in the last weeks. I found that I was most productive at home, away from awesome but distracting uni people :)

And what's the end result? A thesis that I'm honestly very proud of. It's been hell trying to make all the changes I wanted during the last week, and trying to address all the issues that my supervisors and very kind proofreaders have raised. Typos, inconsistencies, Latex, formatting - these are the things that have driven me mad, especially in the last 48 hours. But at the end of all this, I'm looking at it and thinking, yeah, Honours has been awesome. Printing out the title page, and looking at the title through the green window of the thesis cover - that was pretty damn satisfying.

I'm spieling away, but hopefully not waffling. That's one thing I've found during thesis-editing. I have a strong tendency to waffle for long paragraphs without saying much. I daresay my supervisors have something to say about my use of adjectives and personification of just about everything (Mum, I'm looking at YOU!). I'll write something more coherent later about all the tips I've picked up along the way, or as many as I can think of. Quite a few Latex tips come to mind :)

The big question is: did I find the missing supernova remnants? Well, we found some of them! You'd have to read my thesis to know the details, but the most exciting result relevant to Galactic SNRs is that there is evidence suggesting one of my candidates is a pulsar wind nebula, and possibly a young one too. This is pretty neat - go check out the Crab Nebula to know what this high-powered 'little' nebulae are up to.

I've learnt so much this year, about so many different aspects of being a physicist. So many people in the School of Physics and beyond have contributed to my development as a researcher and to making my thesis and project what it is now. I hope I've managed to thank most of them in my Acknowledgements. For them, I am incredibly grateful, because every step, large and small, along the way in the progress of my Honours has in some way shaped the overall result. The School of Physics community is a bunch of fantastic people! Come do Physics with them!

Well, I'm off to bind my thesis now. That will also be quite satisfying, I imagine. Hopefully I don't stuff it up! Still got my Honours talk next week which scares the crap out of me, but I've got a good base to start with and some very useful feedback to incorporate. Fingers crossed.

So glad to have the thesis over, complete and something I feel represents my experience of Honours.


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