Welcome back everyone!
I received the news yesterday that I have officially passed my second year studying BA English at City, University of London (Yayy)! Therefore, I thought what a more perfect time than now to write a post all about ‘My University Experience So Far’.
My First Year:
I started uni after finishing a Journalism Diploma having not written proper academic essays for a couple of years. It’s safe to say I certainly struggled. The content was all there I just didn’t get my points across. I ended the year with a 2:2 (with the smallest margin off a 2:1 imaginable). This just left me with a new sense of determination to improve my grades over second year.
Whilst working hard with assignments and trying to up my grade I tried to get my foot back into my athletics. I found the University of London team to compete for. That meant, despite a significant lack of training I got back into the swing of things and competed at my first BUCS competition.
To be completely honest with all of you as well, I did struggle going from my Journalism course surrounded with my friends every day to a completely new environment and people. During first year I was singled out and targeted during my first year for matters beyond my control which did make my time during first year extremely difficult at times. By the end of the year though I soon learnt who my real friends were and the support I received from the university itself made me feel more secure and comfortable there.
My Second Year:
It’s obvious to everyone who follows me on Twitter that my second year of university has been more enjoyable. I also ensured I worked extremely hard to raise my grades to finish the year with a 2:1. We had freedom in what modules we chose this year which allowed me to choose modules I was interested in. The compulsory modules for second year were: ‘Shakespeare: Authorship, Dramatic Texts and Audiences’, ’21st Century and English Digital Writing’ and ‘Creative Writing’ with my electives being ‘Contemporary Genre Fiction’, ‘Romanticism’, ‘Web Creation and Digital Storytelling’ and ‘Work Placement’.
The Web Creation one was my favourite, we had to create a blog all on a specific topic. I chose photography and I received a first in that module. My blog has been used by my tutor to showcase to prospective students. I hope one day I will be able to share it with all of you as well. My other favourite was definitely the Work Placement module where I completed a week’s work experience with Walker Books.
I worked hard this year and I was rewarded at the end with a 2:1 overall and with 2:1’s in every module. Except my Web Creation one where I got a 1st. Alongside all of this I was also lucky enough to represent University of London for a second time at BUCS. I finished in a higher position than I did the year previously. I even managed a very busy Christmas being one of Father Christmas’s official Elves!
Below are several questions from my followers which will help you gain a little more insight into my university experience. If you fancy it too, why not give them all a follow, they’re wonderful people, all of whom do a little blogging here and there too!
‘What have you struggled with most with life outside the course (social life, managing your time and money etc)?’
(@NerdsNatterings / nerdsnumbersnatterings.blogspot.co.uk)
- It’s easy to get carried away focusing all of your time on your university studies, equally so as it is to become focused upon external factors non-uni related. I’m normally pretty good at organising my time work wise. It’s getting started which I struggle with but what has been more difficult would be managing money and my social life. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty boring details but it’s often hard having a job at university and making sure you have time for assignments and seeing friends too. In hindsight, I am fortunate to have a couple days off uni a week at least so as long as I stay organised it’s pretty easy to manage. However, sometimes, it is important to make sacrifices as my assignments and degree do come first.
‘What’s your favourite thing about being a University student?’
(@SaharasDreams / saharas-dreams.blogspot.com)
- I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one favourite thing but learning all my different modules would definitely be one. There aren’t always modules I like the sound off but this year I loved doing certain modules and learning things which I otherwise wouldn’t have. I’ve also met some lovely people at university who I hope will remain friends for life. Representing University of London at BUCS will always be a highlight!
‘What would you like to do (career wise) once your studies are over?’
(@Kelle_S6 / itskellesspace.com)
- When I started university I was undecided on what I wanted to do after studying and I still am a little. I came to uni after studying a one year NCTJ Journalism Diploma, qualifying with a Gold Standard Qualification. This included 100 words a minute shorthand and several job offers. Coming from that course I knew I wanted to write more creatively and I think I have come to realise that I would love to be an author. Yes, this is a dream of many, but I would love to be an author writing specifically for children. However, after completing some work experience within the publishing industry, this is also another interest of mine once I finish university next year. Who knows what could happen?
‘What activities and societies do you do at university? Why did you choose that course? What modules are you doing next year?’
(@OddballContent / oddballcontent.com)
- My answer as to why I chose my course was covered slightly in my previous answer. I wanted to write more creatively from what I had been doing on my journalism course. Having studied English Language at A Level and preferring that to English Literature I found the course I chose covered both sides of English. It also has a lot of creative writing modules too. I’ve selected my modules for next year and you can find out the modules I chose in the sections above.
- As for what activities and societies I do at university, that’s quite limited simply because the option is quite limited. However, despite my university not having an Athletics team, I am a member of the University of London Athletics Society / Team. This means I compete for UofL at competitions including BUCS.
‘What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you started uni?’
(@cherbelleblog / cherbelleblog.wordpress.com)
- Don’t get caught up worrying about other people’s marks. This is easier said than done and there will always be an element of competition in academic work but it’s important to remember what matters. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get the highest grade in the class, or your friend got a few % more than you. What matters is that you tried your best, worked hard and the grade you received reflects that and you’re proud. In my first year there was a lot of ‘I got this’, ‘Can’t believe I got this’ but in second year I learnt to ignore that. You should too.
‘Are there kickboxing or martial arts classes at your campus? How popular are they compared to other sports? If not, what is the reason for kickboxing not being in demand?’
(@HowToKickBox / howtokickbox.com)
- My university specifically only has teams for specific sports. However, like I do, you can join the Martial Arts team and classes through University of London’s Student Central. Those offered are for Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Karate and Shaolin Kung Fu. I’m unsure as to the popularity of the courses but like athletics I think a lack of athletes at my university is the reason for the lack of the team. In the second year my Uni joined the University of London meaning we could join their teams. This means a larger range of sports and teams to get involved with.
Does university live up to your expectations? Did it surprise you or disappoint you in any way? (@hannah_jl27 / hannahjayneartis.com)
- I think it’s fair to say I have had a very different university experience compared to other people. My year were the first year group to start the BA English program at my university. That meant that because it was relatively unknown my class has only ever had a maximum of 20 students in it. So, you can certainly say that that was a surprise, I’m not sure how I would have got on in a large lecture room with hundreds of students but it would have been nice to experience it, even once.
How much time do you actually spend in lectures / seminars? (@TWhayve / thewhayve.com)
- With every module we take we have 10 hours of lecture time and 10 hours of seminar time per term. So, in a 10 week term we have a one hour lecture followed by a one hour seminar. Last year, we had four modules a term so it worked out that we had 8 hours lecture/seminar time a week. Obviously we had independent study outside of uni too. It’s pretty shocking that for £9,250 I’m only in so little…
What is the most valuable or most interesting information you’ve learned so far? (@FiveStepSarah1 / fivestepsarah.com)
- Wow, I don’t think I can actually pin point just one thing which I have learnt so far. I will tell you what my favourite module is though. This year we had a ’21st Century and English Digital Writing’ module where we studied ‘Pride and Prejudice’. One of our assignments was to bring P&P into the modern day, so I designed Tinder profiles for all of the main characters in the story and had them match with others – it was a lot of fun and my tutor really liked it!
Thank you all for reading and I hope you have been able to relate a little if you’re a student too. Eek, I just realised, does this mean that I’m a third year student now? *Gulp* Mum, I’m not ready!
Hope you’re all enjoying the sun and guess what, ‘It’s Coming Home!’
(All photographs featured in this blog post are my own).
Make sure you check out the other posts in the series and in relation to university:
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part One)
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part Two)
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part Three)
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part Four)
Fresher’s Week, Friend or Foe?
University, 9 Years Ago; An Interview
University, 13 Years Ago; An Interview
University Alternative, MOOC; An Interview
University Saving Tips and Tricks, Part One
University Saving Tips and Tricks, Part Two
University Bookshelf Tour