Today seems as significant a point as any for a blog post, as tomorrow I have my final lecture as a first year! Sure, I still have my very important 6 week placement to come, but as for taught sessions, tomorrow is it. Plus, considering literally three days after my placement ends I’m off on (what I’m sure will be a well- earned) holiday, I felt now was the best time to reflect on the past 9 months.
I know people say “time goes fast” quite often, but I guess I never had a concept of just how fast until you have something important to measure it against. Another cliché, but it feels only a few weeks ago I was waiting outside the lecture hall for my first ever lecture; no friends, no idea what was going to happen.
In 9 months, much has happened, personally and professionally. But it is of significance to me that I’ve learnt a lot about how to live my personal life from my professional life, and vice versa. Due to experiences in both these areas, I feel I am a much more together, confident, self-assured individual, who now really knows what they want from their life. Mistakes happen and things will always hold you back; it’s having the strength and the willpower to push through these that makes you a better person.
Another rather philosophical thought I’ve been pondering is that of challenges. Is it better to challenge yourself so much, to the point where it is almost impossible to succeed, and if you don’t you feel a sense of failure? Or is it better to take it a little easier on yourself and just try your best, feeling pleased no matter what the outcome? I think I’ve done a bit of both this year and, academically, I am very proud of my outcomes. But there are always things I can improve on, and I like that. I like having something to strive for.
I think these questions will be relevant to me in my upcoming placement, and in my career going forward. I’m currently very excited about where I am with regards to my career. After a few years of “job-jumping”, not really knowing what I wanted, I am relieved and happy that I have found a career I really want to do. The thought of going on placement in a couple of weeks makes me nervous initially, but I know just how much I will enjoy and value it. Plus, I know how much I will challenge myself and hopefully I’ll have some positive outcomes.
This may sound like a load of semi-philosophical mumblings, which they probably are. It’s just hard to verbalise the past 9 months and the enormous amount of change, events and experiences that have occurred. Gaining Firsts and 2:1s in my assignments, passing my audits with a higher percentage than I’d imagined, being elected as a course rep, travelling to London to represent the University, speaking at BETT, being asked to write a guest blog for an online education provider, gaining positive feedback in my placements and making lots of amazing friends – it’s been busy!
As of September, there will be even more. I’m moving out for the first time ever and in with some very good friends which I’m looking forward to. Getting rid of the hourly commute to Uni means I’ll be more available to join clubs and get involved in ways that I couldn’t previously. Despite all the uncertainty, as the sun sets on my first year on campus, one thing I do know is that next year is bound to be as jam packed as this one!
I hope to gather lots of new ideas and experiences from my 6 week placement and I’ll be back soon to share these with you! Have a great few weeks.