Over the past couple of months, I decided to add academic honors to my degree. This was a rare decision because I decided to do this about 3 months before I am graduating. In the economics department, honors entails writing an honors thesis and defending it in front of a committee. So, my next couple of months will be rather busy. That being said, there are some questions to consider for those who have the opportunity to be a part of the honors program over your time at CU-Boulder.
- Are you considering going to graduate school? I didn’t realize that I may want to pursue graduate studies in my field, so doing an honors thesis was the perfect way to get introduced to doing research on my own. The thesis is the most-self motivated project you will ever have in college, which is what graduate school is like. Although having this freedom is nice, it also puts everything you do on yourself. You have to create your own project ideas, gain your own research, write everything up and prepare a presentation of your results and methods. It’s a lot, but it is giving me insight into the grad school experience.
- Do you need to pad your resume? Although I do intend to go to grad school at some point, I also want to work for a few years before doing so. I wanted my resume to stand out a bit more on job applications, and having honors in your education does not hurt. There are a lot of people with college degrees, and honors is a good way to stand out from the rest.
- Do you want to be challenged and love what you’re studying? This is the most important thing: if you love what you’re studying, then the thesis won’t seem like a burden. If you’re not passionate, then maybe doing it won’t be as much fun. I developed a love for economics, so doing a thesis is just a culmination of those passions. It has been a lot of fun so far, and I can’t wait to finish the product.