So I’ve nearly finished the last semester of my second year of Uni, just about now and I thought this would be a useful post for those planning to go to Uni and also as a reflective post I can look back on. I wanted to share my thoughts, this may be a bit rambly so excuse that but wanted to write a bit more freely.
The first thing I will say is, truly cherish and make the most of your time at University – it goes by in a flash. Both mentally and in real time, as Uni semesters are quite condensed and in my course we only have 2 semesters, it feels even faster. I’m studying English Literature and it’s really book heavy, most weeks. I have about 3 books to read alongside secondary material too. In my course, most of the assignments are coursework based, either an essay, critical writing or a presentation with one module which has an exam too. I’ve been lucky in this regard but it can get crazy when you have two chunky books to read in the same week..this is where sparknotes comes in. Just joking, but it can be a lifesaver if you didn’t have time to read the entire text one week or something.
Time truly does fly, I can’t believe that I’m going to be in my final year soon enough and the dissertation is looming (yikes) Work wise, as long as you stay on top of reading and attend regularly enough, you will be fine, I assure you. I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t missed a few seminars or lectures from time to time, but as long as you stay focused and know what you missed in lesson, you’re not going to fail disastrously. Don’t be afraid to email a lecturer or a classmate even, to ask for notes etc. I’m sure they will respond and direct you to something helpful, perhaps some online material.
To be perfectly honest, I probably haven’t pushed myself as far as I could, socially in Uni in regards to societies and events. But I’ve come to terms about that, sometimes I feel like it’s easy to put expectations on yourself and idealise what you ‘should’ be doing. You have to keep in mind what you feel comfortable doing and also realise that while yes, the social side of Uni is important, nothing comes before your actual studies, since that’s the reason you’re there after all!
For me as a muslim student, I tend to stay away from any of the events which have drinking etc involved as I’m not really comfortable being in a pub / bar scene haha, so I would recommend sticking to your beliefs and not to feel pressured into anything. Besides, there are soo many societies on campus which cater to all possible needs or interests so you’ll find your niche!
I would also emphasise the importance of networking though and making sure you’re informed about what’s going on, there are always a lot of cool talks with experts in different fields that I would recommend attending. I attended a panel about publishing and writing in the UK a few months ago and it was really inspiring. These talks are good places to get tips and an idea about possible career paths. You usually have the chance to meet the guests after too so if you really want to ask a question, you can do so.
The future can be super daunting, trust me it’s on my mind more often than not recently. But I just try to focus on the present and the next piece of work due and honestly just try my best, if the effort and time is put in, nothing is impossible. Logically, if you put in time and really work hard, your work will reflect that. Whether this is in University or a creative pursuit such as blogging or youtube. I totally feel like a motivational speaker now so I’ll leave you guys here.
If you have any questions, do let me know! you can comment below or tweet me at @ruminvtes x
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