Tuesday, 29 September 2015

University Take Two.

I've now been back at University a week and a half and so far I'm completely loving it! The first week was freshers where all of the first years get settled in, get to know the Uni and their courses and get horribly drunk every night! It was nice being able to spend the week catching up with friends, making multiple trips to the pub/bar and doing some work to prepare for lectures!

This week marked the beginning of lectures and so far I'm loving every module I've picked! You get a lot more choice in second year and I'm really excited to see what the rest of my modules will be like. I've had three lectures so far (Artefacts, Greek Comedy and Peoples and Societies of the Ancient Near East) and I'm set to still have a few this week, introducing me to the rest of my modules (Greek History: Archaic to Alexander, Prospects for Ancient Historians and Egypt and the Greco-Roman World) which will be great! Most of the modules I picked this year with an ancient history side are Greek focused which is easily my favourite period and I'm glad I've been able to specialise that side of my degree that far already as I feel it will give me a good start for doing well this year!

For my Artefacts module, I had to choose 2 of 6 options to focus on. I've picked Pottery and Archaeological drawing with Small finds and coins as back up so I'm incredibly excited to start, no matter which combination of those three I get, as they all look amazing! I think it's awesome how we get to try completely new things like technical drawing as it'll be useful in the long run if I decide to go into Archaeology as a career (most likely!). 

My lectures are a lot more fun this year already because I know so many more people thanks to the dig this summer - I now know the names of most of the people in my lectures compared to maybe 5-10 last year which is really nice! I feel like I've also got a pretty solid friend group now so I'm already feeling like this year is going to be amazing!

This year I've become a student mentor for 12 first year students. The aim is to help them feel more settled and to be able to ask questions to someone has gone through what they're going through. I'm really enjoying being able to help the people who have emailed me with questions and who I've met up with for a chat! It's a really rewarding feeling as I know that a lot of people struggle to settle properly at Uni for a while.

I've moved into private halls this year and so far it's been pretty good - there have been a few problems with doors and radiators but nothing that's too problematic! My room is really lovely with more than enough space and the kitchen is gorgeous with a breakfast bar! It's about half an hour's walk from campus but it will really help me become fitter having to actually travel instead of just rolling out of bed like last year! 

I don't know how much I'm going to be able to post as I have a lot of work to do this year compared to last year...I'll post if and when I can! 

Jess xx

Monday, 14 September 2015

New Beginnings.

I start my second year of Uni on the 29th September, but a lot of people are beginning a new chapter of their lives and starting their first year of University! I'm in no way an expert but I thought it would be useful for some people to share some pointers and advice for the next year of Freshers!

1. You don't have to go out all the time
Before I got to Uni, I had never been clubbing or had many drinks, unlike most of the people I met! It got really tiring trying to go out every day for two weeks straight so I decided to go out a few days a week during freshers and nobody minded! It slows down a lot as you get into the year and start having more work so don't worry about keeping up with the insane pace of the first part of the year. However, although there is a lot of clubbing, there are also plenty of societies and activities for non-drinkers - at my Uni there is a society for non drinkers and movie nights are organised by others!

2. It's okay if you don't make friends with everyone
I tried to be friendly to everybody I met last year in an attempt to make new friends but the reality is that you won't get along with everyone and that's perfectly okay. There are so many people at university that you'll rarely have to see them anyway, even if you live in the same building!

3. Be open minded
University is a huge clash of cultures and backgrounds so it's a great time to learn and try new things, but to also be open minded and do things in a different way to you're used to. It's a great time to reinvent yourself or just shape who you are already. You could join a society that is different to what you would usually go for or choose a module you think sounds interesting but challenging. 

4. If you need to, ask for help
There are plenty of people at University to give you support and advice so if you need them, don't be afraid to ask for help or advice, it's what they do best and they'll do it sensitively and confidentially.

5. Make sure you meet your tutor
They're there to help you throughout the three years you're at University so start off with a good relationship and meet with them soon after you arrive - they're there to help you with academic and personal matters so being able to feel like you can trust them is important!

6. Everyone takes their own time to settle
Don't worry if you get homesick when others seem perfectly fine, people adapt to new situations at their own pace. New situations can be scary but eventually it'll become the new normal and I'm sure you'll love it!

I hope those of you moving back to Uni soon (be it your first or third year) enjoy it and make the most of it!

Jess xx