One Week to Go!
Apologies for my lack of posts so far this month, but as I’m sure you’ll all understand, the last few weeks have been fairly hectic!
In my last post, I mentioned details of all of the end of year assignments I had to complete, which I’m very relieved to say are all out of the way at last – all 18,000 words of them! Because there have been so many deadlines flying around all over the place over the last few weeks, it’s been really important to make sure that I was managing my time properly, being as productive as I could, but also making sure that I had plenty of breaks. For me, this mainly means making my way to the library somewhere between 9:00 and 10:00am and leaving again around 4:00pm. A lot of other students I know think I’m absolutely crazy for this, but I know that I personally work much better in the morning than in the afternoon/evening, as well as being someone who is very prone to distraction. Ooh, is that a bird out of the window? Like I’ve never seen one of those before – but still a good enough distraction to pull me away from my work. My room looks out onto a wooded area with a lake and fields beyond and I just find myself either staring out at it for hours or else spinning around on my desk chair ‘searching for inspiration’… So that’s why I usually come to the library as I find it much easier to focus there, and then I get to go home at the end of the day and know that it’s time to relax. The library is definitely much busier in Term 3 than it is during the rest of the year, but I would like to point out that the rumour I heard circulating amongst stressed students that you had to be at the library long before 9 in the morning if you wanted any kind of chance of finding a seat is definitely not true. It’s certainly busier, and you may have to search for a little longer than usual, but it doesn’t normally get completely full until at least midday, and clears up quite a bit again about 5:00pm before all the crazy students planning on pulling an all-nighter pile in! The library have recently introduced their Space Hog campaign which is really useful as it deters those pesky seat-hoggers from dumping their stuff and kindly disappearing for five hours at a time…
In terms of keeping myself sane, I like to spend my evenings wandering around campus – which is seriously beautiful in summer, once you focus on the trees and daffodils rather than all the concrete which just looks the same all year round – or relaxing in my room with a good book or TV show. The stress of Term 3 has also seen me dig out my craft box from under my bed (I knew it would come in handy at some point in the year) and spend some time painting and crafting to de-stress. Last week I took a day off to reward myself for all this work and went wandering around Shakespeare’s houses in Stratford upon Avon (again) and then topped it off with a spontaneous trip to the theatre! Even just a change of scenery can help you feel a lot calmer – get out of your flat and meet a couple of friends in one of the many bars/cafes/restaurants we have on campus. It doesn’t have to be for very long, and you don’t have to go all out and buy a posh meal or anything, but you’ll soon find your worries disappearing for a little while at least.
Even though all of my assignments are now completed, it’s not the end quite yet, as I still have an exam next week. The straight-English students also had another exam today for The Epic Tradition module, but as that’s the module my Creative Writing module replaces, I just have the exam next week. I’ve had a lot of people say how lucky I am that I don’t have to do that exam, which I am, but I did still have to write 8,000 words this term for my Creative Writing module! Saying that, it does feel pretty good to only have one exam when some of my flatmates are actually turning into headless chickens with the stress of having so many exams. One flatmate has five in one week! Humanities, we have our moments, but right now I really love you.
It’s very cliché, but it is mad to think that as of this time next week I will have completed my first year at university! I’ll be going home for a week or so to see my family and attend a job interview, and then I’ll be coming back to campus for the last couple of weeks to collect my results and (hopefully) celebrate, enjoying the summer with my friends before we all head home once more.
Good luck to any of you who are sitting exams, whatever they may be. You’re nearly there!