Time management in third year (and how to not have it)
So after two emails from administration asking if I’m still alive and able to write two blogs a months I am back! It just so happens that my jumping back on the scene coincides with my third year exams starting in one week. Please send help.
I thought it would thus be apt to give a small explanation of how third year is structured in Chemistry at Warwick as, for a UCAS kiddo listening to an old greying lecturer bang on at the Open Day, rarely do you consider what happens past the first year- everything else is so far away, right? Wrong. So wrong.
So in the first and second year of my chemistry degree I had one or two labs a week, which take up a whole day and the lab report that goes with it would take up the rest of the week. See herefor a whole post-worth of ranting. These days in the lab were matched with three or four days of intensive lectures (you get what you pay for with this degree) in terms 1 and 2, and then in the third term the labs were dropped and lectures dwindle until by Week 5 I was in full on revision mode for the exams.
In year three things are slightly different. Currently, you don’t do any labs at all in the first two terms and have just lectures. This is really nice in many ways because, although you will have 5 or 6 hours of lectures most days, you get to focus your attention in your studying time on absorbing the materiel which is something you can forget when you have a lab report due. This then will accumulates in the exams which happen in the last two weeks of the second term, just before we break up for Easter.
Then why have I been such a terrible student blogger, if lab-free life is so easy? So it turns out that milking your lack of assignments by frequently heading to Smack (the best club around) isn’t always the wisest choice. It came as news to me too, as this term aka second term aka the term with my exams in it has been a bit of a shock in terms of cramming.
By and by this is a warning: do not waste all your free time in year 3. For the sake of your blog. And your grades. But mostly your blog.
There has been another reason, which also happens to be the main reason I chose to study chemistry at Warwick and this is the option to do Term 3 abroad. Whereas you don’t have any lectures in Term 3, you do have to complete 8 week-long labs in the UG labs at Warwick. Or you could do a project in Australia. Or Singapore. Or France. Or Spain. Or pretty much anywhere you fancied jetting off to for the term. Which is exactly what I’m going to do, and organising this has taken up a bit of time.
This is something that I am unaware any other Chemistry department does. It gives you the chance to explore life and studying in another country, and practical research experience (hello sparkling CV), giving you all the benefits of a year abroad without losing all your Warwick buddies. Besides, what are you missing out on in Term 3? Stressed dissertation writing, revising library-residers? No thanks, I’m going to Melbourne!
Posts from April until the end of the year will be live from across the globe as I spend my time working in the labs at Monash University in Melbourne and exploring the city and I cannot wait!
Few minor exams to get out of the way first.