Woah, we’re half way (through a university degree)

Undergraduate degrees last three to four years, and like my sixth form years, I thought university would drag on and on, and pass by gradually like a never-ending summer. My time in Year 12 and 13 felt as if it would never end but alas, all things in life cease eventually and so too will the university years of my life soon. I’ve just finished Semester A of my second year, and this more or less marks the halfway point of my degree which is both a frightening but an exciting proposition!

I thoroughly enjoyed the first year, and my enthusiasm has not lessened during my second year – university acts as a way to escape the quietness and quaintness of rural Lincolnshire for a day, head to the city and learn about a subject which I find genuinely interesting. As with the first year, I have discovered more about the principles of developmental and social psychology – concerning the latter lectures have delved more into theories of social behaviour and tied these to current national and global events, including the American General Election and the UK European Referendum. Learning about the real life application of social theories has made me realise that social psychology can be applied to more careers beyond my studies than I thought – as I have always been fascinated with learning how human beings determine the way they think, decide and behave individually, and surrounding others; this is now an area alongside animal behaviour which I am considering basing my third year dissertation, and my postgraduate studies on.

As I wrote about a few months earlier, second year has definitely stepped up the sheer quantity of workload; after handing in three assignments all on the same night, I almost immediately (with a quick break for some concert fun) started researching and writing up my first of two research projects I will complete this year, and now with it pretty much tied up, I have started revising for tests in the second week of January. Phew. My point is, the second year is full on and non-stop, but I enjoy being constantly busy so I’ve almost thrived on the stress and workload in a way! Saying that, I’ve learnt that in the second year you have to make sacrifices – I fell behind in both my university recommended reading and time spent writing for the blog, to cram in an extra few hours checking and tidying up my assignments. I’ve also skipped out on wanting to go to the cinema and shopping, to instead work from home or in the university’s library. Although I have tests coming up soon, I have decided over Christmas I need to chill out more, and watching the odd film will not hurt my studying in the grand scheme of things.

Away from my studies, the second year has been basked in opportunities to meet new people through both my job, and societies. At around Halloween, this year my friend and I joined a ghost walk held by the Peace of Mind Society at Lincoln, and in just that night alone I spoke to some lovely people and heard some slightly terrifying tales about the spirits haunting the Cathedral and Castle end of the city! Then of course, through work, I still get paid to talk about my experience studying at Lincoln and how we stand out above the rest, and I’ve met some great prospective students who have such a buzz for wanting to study and learn, and it is great seeing such a passion ignited in young people. Despite still commuting in, I feel a more substantial part of the university than last year, and there is always a possibility that for my dissertation year, I could move to the city and at least experience one year of ‘student life’.

Whilst the majority of me wants the second year and the summer to fly so I can reach the third year and finally begin planning the next steps of my future career, contrastingly I wish time would slow down so I can relish the final few months without any significant pressure yet. Once university is over, I will have to venture into the wild world, find somewhere to live and provide for myself (I am definitely moving away from Lincolnshire by the time I am 21, regardless of whether I am still in study or work), and although I am ready to do this, truthfully having a safety blanket of waking up at home with my folks and having everything there for me, is comforting. All things in life cease, and I am mentally preparing myself, and thus already thinking about what I may do next. I am confident the South of England will be my calling, preferably in Devon or Dorset, or in a big city like London, but beyond this, I am still unsure. Music journalism or working in the music industry in some aspect, whether it is television presenting work from festivals or behind the scenes, still appeals to me, but I am aware of the amount of competition there will be for job placements. I would also like to study or find a job related to the degree I have spent £27,250 worth of tuition fees on, and I ultimately feel that my dream job does not align with the degree I hopefully will feel proud of obtaining.

Only time will tell what my life will entail after university and the second half of my degree; I still have to just settle my thoughts and concentrate on passing the rest of the second year first!

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