Doing joint honours doesn’t mean I’m having an existential crisis

We’re just multi-talented OK


Joint honours student try and convince themselves that they’re all-rounders but, really, we’re just indecisive. Whatever way you look at it there’s a few misconceptions to be had about us JH-ers.

Philosophy alone might give me an existential crisis. English alone might make me think we really are just making up crap about words. But together, they’re like a blissful combination of over analysation and under-delving, which will probably get me nowhere. But at least I can write a Tab article about it.

Employment prospects are actually better for us

Dual honours are for those who want to continue through the field of a dual existence. I bet Clark Kent studied Phys-Phil. Peter Parker studied English with Archeology. Only multi-talented people need apply.

Unfortunately we don’t get two degrees

Or perhaps more accurately: two different halves of half of two different (and maybe complimentary) degrees. You’ll end up with a half full (or half empty, depending on your level of cynicism) vat of knowledge on post-colonial poetry and another half of knowledge on what makes an apple, an apple. In other words, it’s 50 per cent fuck this and 50 per cent fuck that.

More like a degree in multi-tasking.

But we do actually study stuff in depth

If by depth you mean do we also fall asleep in every lecture which merely tiptoes around the contextual basis to a topic and leaves us to do the rest of the research alone in our bedrooms or in the intimidation of the realm of the library, then yes, yes we do things in depth.

Sometimes we feel left out

My duplicitous-JH-self is equally comfortable talking to tall blonde Elizabeth from English Lit in Costa, loud frizzy-haired Maude from Drama in Selly Sausage, or weed-smoking Wayne from Philosophy. JH-ers are forced to adopt personas and adapt to any given environment. You spend an hour per fortnight with each crew working up to a solid acquaintanceship by semester two, but there’s always a feeling that, deep down, we don’t form the same bonds as single honours students.

But we prefer to see ourselves as more ‘socially fluid’

All JH-ers share this weird half-and-half experience, and this makes us ultimately stronger.

Physics by night...

Physics by night…

We double the work

Twice the amount of subject means twice the amount of work to do.

But we don’t have to write two dissertations

Thank God.

Philosophy by day...

But, above everything, we’re not having an existential crisis

The word “joint” means less double and more two-halves-plonked-together. Kind of like soul mates. Think of each subject as an incomplete soul until it meets its honour counterpart and bam, SH becomes JH in the beautiful matrimony of academia. Sometimes, they stop each other short. Seminars consist of almost reaching the climax of the topic and then, well, not. But we’re all the more wise for the experience: we might get confused and struggle, but we’re ultimately a more enlightened bunch because of it.