It feels like only weeks ago I was gearing myself up ready to move away from home for the first time, writing posts like Moving Away and Goals for Uni, and dreading having to make new friends, being alone in a new city, starting the step up to degree level that I didn’t think I was ready for… There have definitely been some ups and downs.
As I wrote about in Moving Away, my first night was pretty terrible and horrendously lonely. I didn’t think I’d ever make friends. On that front, I’ve been half-and-half successful; I’ve come out the other side with a friend in the shape of one of my flatmates, and a handful of friendly acquaintances that I would’ve been able to classify as friends if I wasn’t a socially anxious squid who never wanted to impose my presence upon them. Looking at it all – I’ve been pretty stupid. There have been times I’ve not done things organised by my coursemates because I’m ridiculous, and whilst I did spend a few weeks going to the Creative Writing society at uni, that eventually stopped when I started working, rendering me as unsociable as ever. Next year I’m going to push myself, goddammit, and I’m not going to say no or shrug when people invite me to do things. I will be a changed person and happier because of it. Anxiety will not beat me.
Now, let’s go on to something positive, something really really positive. Like my grades. I’m talking 0.4% off a First kinda grades, hell yeah. It feels really weird to be so happy about my successes but I’m tired of downplaying my achievements and I’m tired of seeing everyone around me dowplay theirs too. Stand up, be proud of who you are and what you’ve done. I’m filled with pride for the people I know who are kicking ass and I’m pretty damn well pleased with myself, too. And that’s okay.
When I went into uni I really didn’t know what to expect, especially from the Creative Writing aspect of it. At A-Levels English Lit was actually the subject I did worst in but I really love it, which is why I’m studying it now. It’s so important to choose a subject you’re passionate about if you go to uni, and whilst I sit here and think “maybe you could’ve done even better in Psychology”, I know that it’s not something I could’ve thrived in. If you’re going to put this much work, effort, and money into something, make it worth it.
So yeah, I want a First Class degree. Is that punching above my weight? Is that setting myself up for disappointment? I can’t tell, but it’s something I really really want and I hope that if I push myself, and keep pushing and pushing, I can do it. Because I’m going to be real here and say that I’ve got to where I am from not putting in 100%. Have I worked hard? Have I been stressed as hell over exams? Yes. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes… but let’s see where 100% can take me.
Back in September 2015, I wrote a little post about my goals for uni, and think it’s high time I give those a review over a especially since I haven’t actually looked at them since I first wrote them (whoops).
- Read as much as possible as soon as possible! Yeah… this one didn’t really go to plan. I’ve actually managed to balance uni reading and normal reading fairly well but there was a lot of last minute reading rushes to get through my reading list, yikes. I’ll try to be better next year but, eh, we’ll see how that goes…
- Do some research ahead of time. I didn’t really do this and I wish I had because it would’ve probably made me feel more confident during seminars. Definitely a good plan for future though.
- Don’t over/underwork. I feel like I actually balanced this pretty well, especially since when I wrote it I was only talking about uni work and having time to myself, and now I’m ending the year equating in my fairly demanding freelance work. You know what though? I have that balance. I’m happy with it.
- Keep organised! Wow, I could be so much better at keeping up to date with my bullet journal but I forget about it so often. I absolutely have to make sure I’m keeping at it when I go back to uni otherwise I’ll never cope.
- Always study at my desk. Yeah… hahahhah…. let’s move on.
- Treat yo self! Got this one down solid, or maybe a little bit too solidly. Should probably cut down on the Doritos and BBC iPlayer.
In second year, I’m going to give it my all. I’ve mostly been able to choose what modules I’m taking. The downer to that, though, is that there wasn’t all that much choice. In the first semester I’ll be taking The Art of Writing, Romantic Revolutions, and Renaissance Literature; and in the second semester I’ll be taking Voices & Visions, British Women Writers (between the wars), and Black Writing in Britain. Kind of annoying how I have the two historical eras in the first half and then the two contemporary modules in the second but I didn’t get a choice in that. They are rather well balanced in that I have a Creative Writing portfolio, essay, and exam to do in each semester though, so I won’t drive myself too insane over exam stress.
Overall, I’m happy with where my degree is heading. Could my social life be better? Yup. Am I praying next year’s flatmates are super nice and not hell-on-earth like this year? More than anything. Will I get a First next year? Watch this space. Let’s see what we can do.