The End of the Beginning

As Ellen reaches the end of her internship, she reflects on her time at the Wise ASSC blog and La Trobe University.

Sadly, it’s true. With that usual feeling of tragic abruptness, the summer holidays are coming to a close. The murmurs about enrolment, study plans and timetables are starting to crescendo and the daily machinery of the university is swinging into action: Those coffee machines are about to get the workout of their lives!

But as much as I’ll miss the summer break, I am also looking forward to diving back into the familiar routines of university life—the engaging classes, the fun clubs and the too frequent coffee dates with friends. Unfortunately, the end of summer also presages the end of my time at the Wise ASSC blog.

During my time here, I have tried to share some of the knowledge that I have unwittingly osmosed during my degree. When I started at La Trobe, there were whole swathes of university life that I didn’t have an inkling about and I wish there had been someone there to show me the ropes. I hope in some small way that my contributions here have helped ease somebody’s initiation into this strange and peculiar world.

This internship has also helped me to gain a clearer perspective on my own time at university. Writing this blog has encouraged me to reflect on my degree and it has inspired me to make the most my remaining time at La Trobe. It has also introduced me to a series of kind, patient and inspiring mentors who have generously welcomed me into the Wise ASSC family and have helped me to gain a privileged insider’s perspective on some of the behind-the-scenes machinery of the university. Most importantly, I even had my big break into the modelling world when we did an impromptu photoshoot for our free iPad competition: Vogue here I come!

The denouement of my time at the Wise ASSC blog also signals that I am about to enter the final stretch of my degree, with only six months to go.

Over the years, La Trobe has come to feel like a home. It has supported me as I have prepared to journey out into the world and it has introduced me to life-long passions in everything from linguistics and international relations to neuropsychology, anatomy and genetics. It has encouraged me to think critically, to cultivate curiosity, to be brave, to appreciate the marvels of science, art and life, and to strive to make the world a richer place for all of its inhabitants.

I am sure that I will be finishing my degree with all the usual regrets that most people have. I wish I’d gotten involved in more clubs, and sooner. I wish I’d taken a few more adventurous subjects (you can never take enough). I wish I’d been less shy and had spoken to more of those interesting-looking people that seemed to be everywhere. I wish I’d paid more attention in some classes, and much less in others. I wish I’d been more organised about assignments, and asked for more feedback. I wish I’d saved my lecture slides and recordings so I could remind myself of those strange fact or figures that now lurk at the hazy edges of my memory. Like everyone else, I wish I’d eaten more HSP’s from Charlie’s. But above all, I wish I had worried less and enjoyed it all more.

Even with these regrets, the joys have well and truly outweighed the sorrows. It’s been a strange and wonderful time. I hope it is for you as well.

Here at the Wise ASSC blog we’re always looking to publish new voices and ideas. If you have any stories, articles or poems that you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch here!