Hello and welcome to my blog!
Today I want to talk a little bit about third year at university. I graduated a year ago this October and haven’t given my years at uni much thought, but I give personal and academic support to a student at uni who’s going into his third year and it’s really made me think. I made mistakes in my third year that caused me to get a lower grade than I wanted and I don’t want him to make the same mistakes. So I thought I’d share with you guys the mistakes I made and how to avoid them. I made these mistakes all over my time at uni but it was making them in third year that became a problem.
My biggest nightmare. I am one of these people that thinks “oh I have loads of time, I’ll do it tomorrow”. This is a bad way to be. I spent every night before an essay was due in the library having mental breakdowns and this all could have been avoided if I’d stopped putting things off. All it would have taken was a few days earlier to start planning and writing and I’d have had the essays in on time and not seen the sun come up from the library. Once I had to restart an essay at 3am when it was due in at 12pm – imagine my panic! My biggest piece of advice is don’t put it off! Just get it done!
I’m a big planner, I love to plan and write notes and detail my day to the final points. But how often do I stick to my planning? Very rarely. I just can’t seem to stick to the plans I make. At university, I made plan after plan and I sit there and think “yes I’ll write 100 words every day for the next few weeks and then I’ll be done”. Yeah that never happened. I procrastinated. See why that’s my nightmare? I would 100% recommend planning and sticking to it. Buy a planner on your first day of uni and write down every single lecture and essay that is coming up. See when you’ve got time for breaks and when you need to work that bit harder. Trust me planning is key to a less stressful year.
Find the line between social and alcoholic.
Okay alcoholic might be a bit of a stretch but you get my meaning. I went out way too much in my third year and this was a problem. For some reason I decided to embrace the ‘drunk student’ stereotype and spent many mornings dying with my head in a toilet (I fell asleep drunk in the bath once…) Drinking and socialising is an important part of being a student (this is not saying that every student drinks; if you don’t, I salute you) but it’s everything in moderation. Have that one or two nights out a week and make sure that you plan your week around work and socialising, trust me you’ll get more done and stilled enjoy being a student.
If you’re in a bad place mentally talk to people. It is really hard to open up to people and it can make you feel weak for not being able to cope but it is so important that you reach out to the people in your life. I often say if I didn’t have my boyfriend I wouldn’t have stuck at uni because he was there and talked me through the hard moments I was facing. If you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend, then talk to a friend, or a lecturer you trust. I poured my heart out to a lecturer and she told me I had options when I thought I was done for. People want to help and don’t want you to suffer alone. Talking will help you.
Take advantage of the support your university offers.
I can’t speak for all unis but Chester (where I studied) had so many things, both social and academic, that will help you to make the most of your degree and time at uni. There are places that can proofread your work and offer advice, and the tutors are there to help. Take advantage of these things and use them wisely. They’re there to help you and won’t think you’re bothering them if you go to them a lot. They won’t judge you and they will help you however they can.
Your mental and physical health are VERY important.
I cannot stress this enough. It is so important that your health and well-being come first. Above your uni work and socialising. If you’re not well mentally or physically then everything else suffers. You are more important. One of the first thing you should do is register with a GP. I took too long to do this and ended up in one that isn’t great. If there is one thing that you take away from this blog post it’s how important you mental and physical health is. Say it once more – your mental and physical health matter. If you do feel slightly unwell, it’s worth going to see the doctor, it’s better to check it out rather than letting it get worse. Sexual health is exactly the same. Make sure if you don’t feel right, bite the bullet and see a professional, they won’t judge you.
Make friends and join socials.
Everyone will make friends at uni. Some people make them quickly, others take much longer. But you will make friends. I didn’t get my proper best friend until we moved in together in second year so just be patient. Making friends is really important so if you’re one of those people that struggle to make friends, join a society. Societies are full of people who are there because they all like the same thing. I joined the Harry Potter society and made some friends in there that I still talk to even after graduation. It’s a great way to break walls down and gives you an immediate talking point.
There we go! Just a few tips there to help you make the best out of your degree and a few ways the years at uni can go that little bit smoother. If you have any more tips feel free to leave them in the comments! Good luck in which ever year you’re heading into and I know you’ll smash it!
Until next time,