Lectures? Completed. The final hurdle
On Friday I had my last ever lecture led by Steven Kettell who also taught me during my first year. (*shout out to Steven for being an awesome lecturer and seminar tutor*)
It hasn’t quite hit me yet (possibly because of the many essays I have to do over Easter…) that I am nearly done with academia, possibly forever. Never say never, eh?
This term has definitely been the most challenging for me. Trying to keep up with seminar readings and assessments that count towards a big chunk of my final grade (whilst also wanting to give myself time to enjoy my final few months at university, of course) has been difficult.
In one of our seminars, Steven said something along the lines of “most people find their final year difficult, but they also enjoy it the most, it is one of the best years” and at the time, I honestly didn’t quite understand that. How can you possibly enjoy the pressure of knowing everything you now do contributes towards that final certificate you have worked so hard for AND at the same time trying to actually sort your future career?
However, honestly, now, I understand that a lot better. Sure the pressure is definitely there. And I am sure that pressure will increase when the final term starts knowing that the essay deadlines are super close, and the exams are fast approaching.
Despite that, I feel a lot more independent. Having experienced 3 years of university, one of which was abroad, I feel confident in my abilities and know that ultimately, whatever challenge I am faced with, I can give it my best shot. Equally, whilst I still “don’t know what I want to be when I grow up”, I know that at the end of the day it will all work out. Right now, my focus is on getting that degree and maximising my final year through the opportunities and experiences available at Warwick. One step at a time.
Similarly, despite the academic pressure, I am really enjoying this year. I chose modules that I haven’t covered before such as Vigilant State: Understanding Secret intelligence which I am really enjoying. US Foreign Policy has also been super interesting due to its significant contemporary relevance.
I’ve also formed some really close friendships. It is so sad to think that it will be much more difficult to meet as regularly as we do once we graduate, but hey, I am sure we will be in touch forever!
So right now, I am home for the Easter break. My plan is to get the first drafts of all of my essays completed during the first week, and then spend the rest of the break improving them, adding more examples, statistics etc. Though, if there is anything that I have learnt over the last few years, it is that sometimes to-do lists/timetables just don’t work and you have to be prepared to be flexible. For instance, for one of my modules this year, I wrote approximately 1,500 words and then decided that I want to change my essay question to a different one. I haven’t changed my mind before after writing, but I felt it was worth the risk. Hopefully, that work won’t go to waste though as I intend on saving that topic for my exam.
Of course, after the stressful term 2, I also want to give myself time to eat a ton of Easter eggs (I mean relax) and spend time with my family. I intend on staying on campus for a while after exams finish to explore more of the area and spend time with friends without any academic worries.
Advice to new freshers worried about the jump from first-year – second-year – third year:
Think back to how worried you may have been (at least I know I was) from GCSE to A levels. It worked out though right? If you got into university, you are capable of anything that it will throw at you. I promise. Even if it is hard to believe now, it really is a lot of fun! Embrace your time at university!
Shanita 🙂 xo