|My beautiful university town\\ St Andrews|
One more exam and I will have completed my first year of university; here are my thoughts and reflections on this amazing, stressful year.
Don't doubt yourself
I am my own worst critic, if I don't get the best mark then I beat myself up about it. In classes I don't contribute an answer for fear of being wrong, the times I have said something I've been told it was a good contribution. Even when I know I am right there is still a nagging fear that I'm wrong and that I will make an idiot of myself. I know I am capable so I need to remind myself that I can do it.
Find a balance
Whether this balance is between studying, partying, going back home or anything else, balance is so important. I work part-time at the weekends so for me having a balance between 'work' work and university work was essential. I'm a terrible procrastinator and it means I'm spending hours at the library and then working all weekend, with no time for a social life. Its important for me not to burn myself out.
Never compare yourself
I study Ancient History and this is the first time I am ever studying it in an academic sense, I've had an interest in it for years. There are a lot of fellow classmates who have studied it before and had amazing opportunities to work on sites abroad, something that I never had or did. Sometimes it's so hard not to compare yourself to these people who know more than you, it can be disheartening.
Grades are important
But they're not the most important thing. I've been told multiple times that I only need a 7 to pass, but I don't want to scrape a pass, I want to do well! If I try my hardest and make an honest attempt at something then I will be happy with my grade. Sometimes I struggle with motivation and when I don't have anyone telling me to do work I put it off until the last possible moment. This is a terrible habit to have. I need to be my own biggest motivator.
It's a lot harder than high school and you have to be prepared to do a lot of work. My first semester was hard, I was going a module I hated and considered dropping out if I couldn't change in the next semester. But I put my head down, passed the exam and then changed my module. Now I'm doing a module I love and that I'm good at.
I worked really hard to get into university and now that I'm here it's still hard to comprehend sometimes. I get stressed so easily about stupid things and it prevents me from doing things I enjoy. I'm at university for five years and I am going to enjoy my time here before I have to be a proper adult and get a full time job.
I have my last exam and I turn twenty next week. Goodbye to teenage years and hello to second year of university!