This was the week I went back to university after a chilled few months off. It’s even scarier this time round, as I’ve gone into my final year so I’m already stressed thinking about all my assignments and my dissertation. It’s going to be such a tough year and I’m expecting breakdowns but I’m hoping it will all be worth it when it comes to graduation! I’ve decided to do this post on 5 reasons of how I will make the most of 3rd year and how I can make it a success.
- The most important of all is to be organised! I’ve got off to a good start with typing all my lectures notes up straight away and doing my pre-readings so hopefully I can continue this to avoid extra stress. I’m aiming to do things well in advance, which can be difficult in terms of assignments when I feel like I need more lectures to make decisions on topics and concepts to bring in, but I’ll do what I can so I don’t have a load of work in one go.
- Take full advantage of all the help I’m given. Make full use of the library and spend more time in there than I have previous years, ask questions to my lecturers when I’m not sure about something or need some advice, and attend tutorials with them to talk through my ideas. This especially applies to my dissertation, as I’ve now been assigned my tutor and need to arrange a meeting, however I’m still in the stage of not having a topic so I really need to get thinking so I can make a start.
- Plan lots of little exciting things to get me through the year! This isn’t hard for me anyway, but I think it’s so important to have things planned that will be fun and make you smile, so it’s not just constant work. You can think ‘I have 2 weeks of full-on work now, but then after I have this to look forward to’. Then have big events to end the year and celebrate getting through it! These things will all help to give me the motivation to work my ass off.
- Get ready for my future. It’s easy to just put it to the back of my mind and put it off, but with the high possibility that I will have to do a Masters, or at least some kind of extra training, I really need to do my research and get applying and get ready for the next stage of my life, because I know it’s going to fly by. I also need to get some experience sorted to give me the best chance, and fit this around my uni work.
- Try my best to enjoy it. They say university is the best time of your life, and although I never think that when I’m drowning in deadlines, I know I’ll probably end up missing it when I look back in the future. I’ll make sure there’s time to go out and be sociable, take an interest in my lectures, and enjoy the vibe of university life whilst I still can.
So that’s my plan for the next 8 months or so. It’s going to be tough and stressful, but hopefully I can make these things happen and come out with a good grade and feeling super proud of myself. Are any of you in the same position as me? Good luck to you all, and everyone else who has just started another tough year! We just need to remember that we can do this and get through it, and think of that final result.
Lots of love,
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In a couple of weeks, I start my second year at university. It seems like only a few months ago that I started my first year, but now there’s a whole new group of Freshers starting their university experience. Here are some things I’ll pass onto you from my first year experience.
- Enjoy being in 1st year! There’s a lot less pressure as you only have to pass, rather than worrying about getting the highest mark possible. I’m definitely nervous about my marks all counting when I start this year!
- Most people live on campus in halls, but I’ve stayed living at home, due to the course that I loved being so local to me. Obviously I don’t have the full university experience, but I’m not missing out on much apart from the living away. I still have some great friends, go on nights out and have joined a society to socialise. So if you’re living at home, don’t worry about missing out! If you put the effort in to socialise, you’ll be absolutely fine!
- Whatsapp is very useful to have when you’re a student! Most people I know at university use Whatsapp to have group chats. We have one for my course (as we’re only a small course), and many have one for their flats. So I’d recommend downloading it onto your phone if you haven’t got it already.
- Prepare for the referencing (my least favourite part of essays). It’s not something I was used to before uni and I’m still fully getting to grips with always having to refer to readings throughout my assignments. I’ve been so used to just writing thet facts and my opinion down, but at university you have to quote or cite the works of others. RefMe is a great help to speed up your referencing. You search for the name of the book/article/etc. you’re referencing and the full details will come up, meaning you can just copy and paste to the end of your essay. Always double-check it’s all accurate though, as it won’t always have all the correct information that you need, and you don’t want to be caught out.
- Be organised straight away. It may sound like an obvious one but you can end up with so many bits of paper and I got into the bad habit of leaving my notebook full for ages, then having to organise it all in one go which is difficult. Decide straight away how you are going to organise your notes, whether it’s putting them all in a folder or typing them all up on your laptop.
- Your reading list- Make sure you buy what’s required or you may struggle in your lectures and assessments. Textbook can be very expensive so be prepared for that and budget for it. You don’t have to buy them all new- many previous students sell their textbooks to people who now need them, so always have a look for 2nd hand ones to save a lot of money. I’m lucky that I only required one textbook to buy last year, but I have friends who needed to buy a lot, so it all depends on your course and university.
Here are some of my tips from my Freshers experience. You’ll all love it so have the time of you life but be prepared to work! Are any of my readers starting university? Let me know in the comments.
When you’re at school, it’s so easy to keep up with your friends’ lives because you see them every day. However, when you get to adult life, everyone goes their different ways and you have to make more of an effort than before. It’s great how good technology is nowadays for keeping in touch. Everyone is just a text/Facebook message/Skype call etc.. away. But nothing is the same as seeing your friends in person and having a proper catch-up.
My best friends are all over the place. One is at university in Cardiff, one lives just outside London, Siân (who I saw today) has just come back from her trip to Australia. This has meant I haven’t seen her in 2 months. We had so much to catch up on as so much has happened since we both last saw each other.
Even when it’s been so long, when you’re best friends it always seems like you’ve never been apart and it always goes straight back to normal with the banter and insults!
Siân starts university next month so I won’t be able to see her often again then. But we have exciting times planned before then. We’re staying with Rebecca in Cardiff next week and seeing Michael McIntyre (we’ve literally had the tickets booked for about a year!). This will probably be our last time together all 3 of us before Siân heads off to university so we’ll definitely be making the most of it. And we’re planning another girls holiday for next year so we have that to look forward to!
My friend Megan, who lives outside London, is off to South Africa for a few months soon. Even though we don’t get to see each other loads anyway, it always feels harder when they’re in a different country. Hopefully she’ll still have her Internet so we can talk the whole time she’s away. I’m seeing her this week for a few days and it will be the last time before she goes so I’m sure that will be an emotional goodbye!
When you get older, you really do learn who your true friends are. You lose touch with so many people (and I’m only 19 but it’s already happened!). But you value your friendships even more than before and every time you see them it feels more special. You’re making the effort to see each other in your busy lives and aren’t just being put together at school everyday anymore. When you can’t see them often, the memories you make together are even more important than before. And I’m happy with the bunch I’ve been stuck with haha!
I had my summer ball at university at the weekend to celebrate the end of my first year and exams being over for summer. It was a black-tie event which meant everyone was dressed up to celebrate. It got me thinking about some of the things girls deal with on nights out in order to look good.
First of all, the typical English weather was a problem for us all out in our dresses. It was windy (so you had to hold your dress down), it was raining on and off, and it was very cold (yes, even though it was the end of May). As I stood waiting in the queue for fairground rides, I couldn’t help but look enviously at the guys stood there in their suit jackets while I was shivering in my dress. Inside a club on an average night out you don’t have to worry about being cold all night. However, I do always stress over the decision of whether to take a jacket or not. Do I pay to leave it in the cloakroom? Carry it round with me all night? Or just brave the cold on the way in and out?
Then there was of course the issue of making sure you weren’t flashing in your dress whilst on the rides! Luckily it wasn’t too bad because of the way you get strapped into the rides. Wearing heels also causes some difficulties. Me and my friends were struggling to even find the entrance to the ball and ended up on a long walk around the campus to get to where we needed to be. This resulted in some of my friends taking their heels off temporarily before we’d even gone in! I didn’t have any flats with me to change into so I carried on all night in my heels. However, I’d been on my feet all day at work beforehand and by the end of the night I was definitely feeling the pain and I couldn’t wait to get them off! I don’t wear heels very often so spending hours in them walking around and dancing isn’t something I’m used to.
Most of us tend to want some kind of fatty food when we’ve left. We had planned to grab something on the way back, but it was just typical that the food places all decided to close by the end of the night so we had to go without *sobs*.
It’s always an effort when you get back after a night out too. It’s the early hours of the morning and you just want to crawl straight into bed but you normally have more make-up on than on your average day, and I have to take it off before I sleep. So it takes longer than normal to remove it all at a time when you want it to be a very quick process.
Which of these do you associate with? What similar problems do you face on a night out?
So my first year of university is officially over! It’s crazy how quickly these months have flown past and how I’ve already completed 1/3 of my course. I’ve loved this year, and although it’s been stressful, I’ve had a lot of fun and met some amazing people. It’s sad that I won’t see a lot of people now until we start again in September, when I’m so used to seeing everyone regularly. I’m looking forward to not having the worry of having reading to do, assignments to complete and exams to revise for. I’ve got a lot of summer plans and I’m excited about being able to chill too.
Last night, everyone on my course went out to celebrate finishing our last exam and surviving our first year. It was so good to be able to celebrate together Our course is only small so it means that we all know each other pretty well and can organise nights out and other activities together which I love. I live at home so I don’t have flatmates to get to know well, so it’s nice that we can all have close relationships in the course and it has such a friendly feel to it. I started the night at one of the girl’s flats for some pre-drinks, then we headed into town where we met everyone else at a bar which does amazing cocktails. The one I picked was like an alcoholic banana milkshake and it tasted so good. It’s called a Hummingbird if anyone wants to give it a try. We then headed to a club and it was so good to let our hair down and feel free without the stress we’ve all been under. We all deserved a celebration and a chance to let go, and spend some time together before everyone heads back home. I definitely regretted wearing a dress though because it turned out to be a very windy and freezing cold night! I always feel the cold anyway so it wasn’t my smartest plan, but I’d been silly enough to assume that it would be warm enough seeing as it is May. But this is England and our weather is pretty unpredictable, plus being summer doesn’t mean summer weather.
We have one more event before everyone leaves for summer which is our summer ball next week which I’m looking forward to. There will be live music, fairground rides and a whole load of other stuff so it should be a good night and we will be able to finish our first year off in style.
It’s almost midnight here now so I should probably get some sleep, seeing as I didn’t get much last night. I am surprised at how I’m not particularly tired but I can’t complain about that! Oh and it’s a good feeling knowing that I don’t need to set an alarm for the morning!
Just a quick post to apologise for the lack of posts recently. I’m crazy busy with my university assignments all due in within the next week, and I still have so much work to do! I’m missing being able to write regular posts but once my work is all handed in and my exam is over, I’ll be able to get back to blogging properly again.
Hope everyone else doing assignments and essays is getting on alright! We can get through this arghhh good luck!
Speak to you all soon,
I’m in denial that we’re in April already! I’m not sure where the last 3 months have gone at all. Next month I’ll be finishing my first year at university which is a very scary thought. It will be weird no longer being a fresher and having to work even harder than now.
I kicked April off in style last night. I had a night out with my best friends and had a great time. We all have a lot of work to be doing at the moment with university essays and revision, so it was good to let go and have fun for a night while everyone was home and had free time for the Easter holidays. I have 4 essays to write in the next month and I have an exam in May so that’s definitely keeping me busy at the moment. But I think it’s so important to have some fun in between all the work otherwise you just end up stressed.
I’ve had a great week so far, despite having this pressure in my head. I met up with some friends on Monday who I met through Twitter but they both live locally. We had a DVD day and a good catch-up as although I’d seen them both individually recently, we hadn’t done anything the 3 of us for a long time. Tuesday was a day I both did university work and actually went to work, so it wasn’t the most fun of days but you need to have these days to get anything done!
I got back from my night out in the early hours this morning so today’s been pretty chilled as I caught up on sleep. It was so lovely last night to forget about everything with my best friends. We’re all doing different things now, and although most of us are living at home still, we all have very different timetables and work schedules so we don’t see each other as often as we’d like to. However, we all still remain really close and nights like last night really do show that. As you grow up and go through different experiences, you end up meeting friends from all different places but it’s so important to remember your best friends from school.
It’s now the long Easter weekend. What has everyone got planned? I’m heading to my grandparents for lunch on Easter Sunday and I’ll definitely be eating a lot of chocolate haha!
Sorry it’s been a quiet few days. I’m currently being kept very busy by revision for my first university exams. Obviously I’ve done plenty of exams before, but they’ve always been in the same school setting and I’ve come to know what to expect there. But at university, it’s all a different experience so it’s scary for me! I always used to be pretty good with revision but I think after GCSEs I’d had enough and I seem to have lost all the motivation I once had. I can sit and revise all day but not feel like I’ve done much now which is a horrible feeling. I get distracted far too easily! So I have all of this theory and all these names and dates to remember, but not much concentration! I’m definitely looking forward to these exams being over!
Good luck to everyone else doing exams at the moment!
Thanks for reading,