Term 2: Reflections and Advice
Can you believe it, we’re approaching Week 10 of Term 2 already? I’m shocked at how fast these two terms have gone and even more so at how there’s only one to go until my first year is done! In this blog I’ll be looking back over this term, much like I did for the Term 1 blog.
I haven’t felt much of an increase in work in comparison to Term 1. Everything has been fairly consistent, with formative and summative assignments constantly on the go, I definitely keep myself occupied! This term, I have paid more attention to conducting preparatory reading before starting to write my essays. I would strongly advise this, as it means that you have all the material ready, and it just needs to be incorporated in the final essay. This approach has proved less stressful, as I’m not struggling to find information along the way, which can make the essay writing process feel quite fragmented. Reading through lots of materials can feel lengthy and never-ending, but I think it’s worthwhile!
Note taking is another tricky area. Last term I tried to write out all my notes neatly so that I could revise from them before exams, however I found that for some modules which are extremely content-heavy, it was very time consuming, and I didn’t feel that I was achieving much. This term, for those particular modules, I have been printing out the lecture powerpoints with space beside them for additional notes. This has saved a lot of time! I would also recommend sorting out your notes throughout the year, as it means that throughout the Easter holidays the focus will just be on consolidating knowledge. I took this approach throughout GCSEs and A-levels, and it certainly made me feel more on top of things.
Work-Social life balance
Something I’ve realised this term is that making time for yourself is essential to stay happy at university. It can be easy to just want to focus on the large amount of work you still haven’t done, but eventually you risk burning out completely and losing motivation. So, definitely make time to see your friends for a drink or even something where you can just relax and chat, such as ordering a takeaway! After seeing friends, I always feel somewhat revitalised and more content about the workload awaiting me.
On the other hand, its also ok if sometimes you just want time alone to watch Netflix and rest! There is no ‘correct’ way of ‘doing’ university. Everyone does different things with their spare time. It’s essentially about doing what you personally feel happy with. I definitely need some downtime now and again.
Being away from home
I was slightly worried about this before going to university, but I adjusted to the change quickly. The truth is, university is such a fun, different, busy experience that (as bad as it sounds) I don’t think of home too much! Of course, its great when I facetime my family and I’ve been home a few times for occasions such as birthdays. Being away from home, however, definitely makes you appreciate your family and general home life more! Consequently, when I’m home I always have a great catch up with everyone and appreciate the little luxuries (such as having a sofa to sit on and a TV to watch!). Some advice, though – book train tickets home in advance! As soon as you know when you’ll be going, book it straight away to avoid spending lots more at a later date. The 16-25 railcard has also saved me a lot of money!
Overall, I’m really pleased with how Term 2 has gone. I hope everyone has a (somewhat) relaxing Easter break, whatever you will be doing!