Transition to Third Year
Moving into a new academic year is always a mix of nerves and excitement — have I forgotten everything over summer? Will I have to write twelve essays a week? How do you even write an essay? Fortunately as we come to the end of First Term, I can confirm that your brain does not empty over the summer break. Having said that, the new academic year always brings its triumphs and challenges. It can be a bit of a shock to the system when the difficulty and volume of work steps up after a bit of time off, but in this blog, I’d like to speak about what the move into Third Year was like for me.
Having finished my final exam at the beginning of June, it felt like a long time since the last term when Week 1 kicked off in October. As to be expected with a bit of time off, it felt strange to get back into a uni routine. When you mix a new house, new modules, and a new academic year, it felt pretty overwhelming. I spoke to my friends about this at the time, and quickly realised we were all in the same boat. For the first week or two, it felt like a bit of a juggling act — it takes time to adjust to the new tasks you need to do each week and find a good way of prioritising them. Looking back, I can see how important it is to give yourself this time to figure out how to keep on top of things, and that this will be constantly reshuffled as the year goes on.
I was a bit worried about the workload as I started Third Year. I knew it was going to be a challenging year ahead, and I would get into the swing of it, but it feels daunting when you see a lot of essays lining up in front of you! I think it’s really important to ease yourself in; I tried to get some work for Week 1 done before term began, for example, so that I would have time in the first week to adjust. It felt full on, but any way that you can make life easier for yourself at these times goes such a long way.
The workload had stepped up for me, but as this is my final year at Warwick, a balance of work and enjoyment is really important to me. I want to make time to play sports, meet friends for a coffee, and just have downtime, which means organisation is really important. It can be easy to push these fun things aside when you’re busy, and of course there are times around deadlines when this might not be possible, but I think it’s really important to get involved with what Warwick has to offer beyond academics as much as you can. This term I’ve tried to implement these fun things into my weekly routine as much as possible, and I’m so glad I have — I’ve made new friends, tried new sports, and had some time to destress.
I’ve realised just how important organisation is. I know everyone goes on about planning (and the 174346 ways there are to do it), but it has been so important in keeping on top of the workload and avoiding being overwhelmed. Of course a planner isn’t the solution to all your problems, but it might be a big help!
Speaking to friends and people on my course, I realise that everyone feels the same way. I’m yet to meet someone who feels 100% on top of every deadline, weekly reading, and all other responsibilities. Chatting with my friends and family about the move into Third Year has made me feel so much more at ease; they’ve encouraged me and reminded me to enjoy the uni year aside from essays and deadlines, and always made me feel better when I feel like I’m falling behind!
Whatever year you’ve just moved into, remember that the beginning always feels a little daunting, but once you’re into the routine of the term, it feels normal pretty quickly. Balancing everything uni throws at you is not easy, so enjoy the challenge!