They always say enjoy first year while it lasts. The lie ins, the eight hours of sleep, the excessive (but totally necessary) intake of alcohol and most importantly the lack of any significant amount of work. but do we believe it…of course not.
Now that I’m in my third year I cant help but look back at those words of wisdom I so carelessly brushed aside with a sense of regret. As we all do I laughed it off thinking ‘how hard could things get?’ what a poor naive little first year I was.
Naturally there was a step up from first to second year. Socks were pulled up and fingers were pulled out but still it was easily manageable, and I sank into a comfy routine of putting the effort in only when it mattered and rarely doing the extra recommended reading. My first big mistake.
As your lecturers so kindly like to pummel into your brains, second year actually counts for something and getting a good end grade in second year will significantly help you in third year.
End of second year I received 67% overall which I thought I was pretty happy with. A high 2:1, I’ll take that. However seven weeks into third year and I’ve realised, actually why didn’t I aim higher in second year? If I’d got higher in second year, pieces of work worth a measly 15% wouldn’t have me up until two AM editing and experiencing the first symptoms of a breakdown.
The depressing reality that is my third year life: my dissertation is my world, my social life…what social life? A visit to Tesco is a great chance to get out the house and…wait for it… I WANT to go to my lectures and do the extra reading!
I am a changed woman.
My biggest regret over my three years. I didn’t embrace going out enough in both first and second year. In first year It’s important for making friends and in second year it’s important for giving yourself a break. My second year breaks consisted of a film (usually Disney, don’t judge), popcorn and bed. In the last seven weeks since being back at uni I’ve been ‘out out’ maybe three times, how depressing!
But third year isn’t all bad. Although your dissertation is, yes, the most scary piece of work you’ve had in three years. It’s also probably the most interesting. You get to pick anything you like, something you’re really interested in. I’ve heard titles on video games, Disney films, murder mysteries, sports bras and so many more. There is so much diversity.
Last pieces of advice, firstly for university in general, join a society! I joined rowing and honestly they’re like my extended family now. You’ll have loads of fun on the socials, meet some great people and have some fun. It doesn’t have to be sport; there are literally tonnes of societies from horse riding, harry potter society to cupcake making society and the cocktail society!
Secondly advice for a third year, choose a dissertation topic that genuinely interests you. It’ll making writing it and researching it far more fun. Lastly, start your research in the summer beforehand. Like we all do, I told myself I would and unsurprisingly didn’t. So much regret!
Enjoy university, they’re the best years of your life! Throw yourself into everything, give it your all, and if you’re not already, get royally smashed at least once a week!
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