Part 4 | Reflecting On My University Experience

So here we are, the fourth and final part of my reflecting on university series. I really can't believe this ended up being four parts, haha! I genuinely didn't expect this end up being so long, I originally planned this out to be either one or two parts actually... but as per usual I ended up rambling a little too much, I hope you guys don't mind, haha! But yes, if you haven't already read the rest of the series you should - (start here at part one!) I've talked all about anxiety at uni, what it's like moving in with strangers and so much more.. so you should go and catch up for sure, haha! The last part is all about my third and final year of university, this year was pretty tough for me and as you guys all know (because I didn't shut up about it!) I had to write the dreaded dissertation, so this part will pretty much be discussing how the struggle was real when it came to writing my dissertation... since it took up most of my time during this year! Also, if you want to read more about my dissertation experience you can read another blog post I wrote all about it here - I talk all about what I would do differently if I could do it all over again. (God forbid, haha!) So anyway, I hope you guys have enjoyed this series - I have definitely enjoyed writing it and looking back at everything, it's surprising how much I had forgotten already so I'm hoping that I can look back on these posts in the future as a little reminder! I actually have an old planner out for writing the last part so I'm hoping that'll help me a little for this part too.. feeling very reminiscent! So, let me know in the comments below if you have enjoyed this and as always feel free to ask me any university related questions, I'd be happy to answer them!

So the last part left off with us moving into our current house, we just managed to settle in before university started and it was time to get back to the grind! I found my third year, in terms of university work, to be the toughest for me, (which is to be expected I suppose!) good grades are a lot harder to hit in your third year and this can definitely have a huge effect on your confidence - I definitely saw my grades decline from year to year as the requirements were getting more and more difficult but I was still fairly happy with the marks I was getting so I didn't let that effect me too much! One thing I really enjoyed was the new units we were doing, I took a unit on children's mental health which was one of my favourite units from the entire course and I found every lecture super interesting so that was definitely one of the highlights of this year for me! One thing I struggled to get used to in my third year (as did many people on my course I believe!) was the lack of guidance we received when it came to assignments - especially the fact that we had free reign over how to lay out our assignments, I know loads of people who really struggled with that, me included! Of course the stress of writing my dissertation didn't really help either, especially since we were pretty much expected to just start our dissertations as soon as the uni year started and I was still trying to balance all my other assignments and working three days a week! I must admit I did really find it difficult to manage my time well, I was blogging every other day, working three days a week, going to university a few days a week and writing assignments pretty much every month so my dissertation did definitely suffer... and although it was due at the end of April I didn't properly concentrate on it until February time - big mistake! So yeah, as you can imagine February, March and April for me was basically just spent writing and researching references and I actually managed to finish it time allowing myself some time to proof read - thank god!

One thing I forgot to mention was the fact that during this year my friends literally lived 30 seconds from my house! It was so funny because we didn't even realise this until moving in day, where I messaged Zoe our address and google told her that we were only 30 seconds walk away, haha! So in terms of feeling secluded or like I couldn't see my friends I was feeling a lot better - friends could just pop over for a catch up over coffee and not have to worry about trekking 40 minutes home! Saying that, I did have a bit of an anxious period in the middle of the year - I feel like it overlapped with the time I was writing my dissertation so that didn't help at all! But basically my anxiety got pretty bad to the point where I was making excuses to not hang out with my friends, which is never healthy.. I guess I was just happy in my little bubble and I had a bit of a routine that basically just involved writing my dissertation, writing blog posts and going to work - but I was happy in my own space. Luckily, I have very understanding friends, especially Zoe who was very supportive, and I was sure to make time for her once my dissertation was all handed in and I was feeling less stressed!

And I mean that's pretty much where I'm at right now, university has officially finished and I'm just waiting to hear back about my last few grades! Graduation is actually looming closer and closer (it's next month!) which I am so not prepared for. I feel like right now I haven't fully processed that uni is over and I'm not going back in September - so graduation will probably be a huge reality check for me. University has been a bit of a ride though, don't people say that university is supposed to be the best years of your life?! I don't know if I agree with that (and there were definitely some times in the middle where I would completely disagree with that!) but I'm definitely glad that I went and came out the other side with a degree! In that sense I guess I'm glad that my school did kind of force us into it, I feel like if I didn't go straight out of sixth form and I had to apply off my own back I would've been completely overwhelmed and probably would've talked myself out of it to be honest! But yeah, I am kind of sad that it's over! Although I wouldn't say I had the complete student experience because I only really went out during my first year and I moved in with Ethan (into a normal, not student house) in my second year - I still had a really great time and I can definitely say I've grown as a person - I'm fully independent now and I can safely say I definitely feel more like an adult!

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