On my blog, I have previously spoken about running and an injury I suffered in the past, which unfortunately flared up again when I tripped on a flat surface and caused the same soft tissue injury again. BUT I am better, and fitter than five/six weeks ago as I just ran 4.01 miles today in 50 minutes whilst, still having a few twinges in my ankle. It’s better than last weeks slow and steady-test the water two mile run so, that means I am getting there.
As someone who now loves to stay fit and healthy, with the busy schedule and injury I’ve had meant running really was not an option and so, I was stressed and tired and feeling a little trapped. Because that little run is what make me less stressed and allows my brain to re-focus. I cannot tell you how many times, I’ve been running and had an epiphany on how to complete some work. I do not know what magic this is, and I do not question it…I just utilise it.
Now, around this time last year if you told me I was going to get back into running, start losing weight and be fit enough to run over six miles when I am back on full form I would have told people they were joking…but, here I am running and happy about it. You see this showed me I could achieve little goals I set for myself, it served to re-motivate me after I had lost all motivation, and did not like where I was in terms of health and fitness. It further allowed me to continue the positive mindset I had chosen to adopt by then and it worked. There is nothing like a good run to get better, feel better and be better.
When I saw this daily prompt, I instantly knew I was going to write about running, and injuries and life. But, that is what made me feel better;
-about what I could achieve
And to further prove my point, my grades improved, I was smiling more because I had no negativity and I was running. I aim to continue that positive mindset, I aim to continue improving my health, I want to get better, and be better!
So, I’m about to start a new adventure, one to propel me into adulthood because I’ve recently completed my last assignment of a university degree and unless, something goes terribly wrong then I’m hoping to have passed. Now, I find myself looking forward to the future, reconsidering my past and embracing the present. Of course, your own worst enemy is yourself.
I have a list of things to complete:
Get a Job
Buy a Car
Go Back to do a Masters Eventually…
But for now, I’ll settle with planning trips with my friends, looking forward to graduation, making memories and finding a job. Yet I still find myself looking at the first nearly twenty-two years of my life and wondering what would have happened if I’d have took a few different turns on the road of life. I know it is said, that you should never look back, you should always look forward but, I cannot help and think that I would not be the person I am today without my past, and I would never have gone to university.
Well, as a kid I was sporty and I still love sports today even if it is more recreational and a great de-stresser so, I do find myself wondering about a path in sports. My other love is reading, I’ve always been interested in books and I love to snuggle in a small corner with my book and just get drawn into magical worlds. So, I also wonder about a path into this field somehow. On top of that, over the years there have been many friends with good and bad experiences felt yet, I never hate the people I’m no longer in touch with. That’s Life! I wish them happiness and a positive life as I have managed to find. But, the thing is all of life events have shaped me whether its struggles, heartache or reaching goals and being a high achiever and I’m proud of where I am today because of this, and I hope other people can find the same feeling.
Well, as I mentioned I’m about to finish my undergraduate degree alongside nearly a year of blogging which I immensely proud of. It allows me to deal with my feelings, blog about life and speak to the world. So, I wonder if I could utilise this for a career, its enjoyable and I’d love to mix it with my other passions. Now I find myself looking for jobs and truly embracing adulthood because as a student I have noticed you are adults but, not quite? It is like the popular internet meme wherein someone suggests in adult situations they look for an adultier adult, which I find myself agreeing with. However, I am young so I can experience life, and where it takes me at my own pace. I think I’m a lot more zen nowadays, it goes with the positive outlook. You can’t change what you can’t control, so why do I have to control every situation? And, the way you look out on life, reflects your mental state among other things! So, I’m even more proud of myself when I look at the present alongside the past. And, with a life goal achieved I’m ready to look forward to the next!
I don’t know what that holds. I would hope a family, and travel and love and a career but, I cannot control everything. Although, beginning my steps into a career include sorting out my CV and finding something I’d love to do. I think the future is a mystery, it could go anywhere and I’m happy to take that road to see what I can achieve. I am a very goal orientated person, and I will set myself goals and achieve them when I can!
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So, this short post is a bit reflexive and I know my blog has been reflecting on life lately however, when you are reaching the end of a chapter for your life then its time to look back and maybe try re-reading a few worn pages. Before I start writing the next chapter, and I do not have as much time to look back on life. It’s time to take that leap. Maybe, we should all look back, to the present and the future and be proud of who you’ve become.
As my final university year comes to a close, with the triumphs and breakdowns. I think it would be useful to think about what I wish I had been told before I begun my final undergraduate year at university. From triumph to breakdown, I’ve been through it all. Therefore, I feel more than qualified to pass on my wisdom.
Here is a list of things I wish I’d have been told before third year, on how to deal with third year:
Breakdowns are unavoidable, and they happen. You just have to let the emotions out and you’ll feel better.
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I know if you are a second year you’ve probably heard the joke about the amount of breakdowns a third year student has, and I bet you think that it is a little extreme! Well, let me tell you I reached my limit, three-four times this year and I’ve heard about other students experiencing more. It happens, and when it does just accept it. You’ve bottled the stress up so much, you’ve built the pressure of the dissertation in your head and you’re attempting to have a life. You have to release it. It’s not conducive to a proper work environment. And I can personally tell you, the emotion may overcome you at a random time when work is not even in front of you. It could be the littlest thing to push you.
You cannot control everything, no matter how organised you are.
It’s true. You might be the most organised student in the world but, you cannot control third year. The first two years you’ve developed a system, you know when you work best and how you work. But, with all the running around you are bound to get ill. The dissertation is at the back of your mind and it is a constant stresser. And stress is not good for your health-mentally or physically. Which leads me to my next point…
Make time for yourself!
I run. That is my me-time. You have to find an activity in third year solely for you. Something you like to do, that helps you because whilst friends are great. You need to have time to yourself as we all work differently so someone elses early finish, is another persons late start. But don’t place pressure on yourself because of this! You work out whats best for you.
Don’t place all your energy into producing a dissertation. It is just one module!
The dissertation is one module, and it is worth twenty credits. And I KNOW it has a huge build up to it but, there are other assignments who deserve as much attention, as the dissertation does. And each assignment is just as important as the dissertation. I worked one assignment at a time, and I achieved firsts in every module in the beginning of third year.
But don’t forget the dissertation either…
While, you shouldn’t place all your energy into the dissertation, you shouldn’t forget about it either. It is a huge undertaking research and you need to work out what is best for you. Keep in contact with your tutors, they are there to help and guide you and the worst thing you could do is not utilise the resource that is available to you. The tutors want to see you succeed!
Make a schedule- and stick to it.
You don’t want to be someone who does all the work in their final weeks for the dissertation. It is a year around module, and so use the year constructively. Set yourself tasks and complete them on schedule. And again, if you work well with deadlines then inform your tutor. They can set you deadlines for completing work, which keeps you on target. So, I found all my books and resources, and episodes within first semester for my dissertation. I completed notes on it by the end of January, due to a few hiccups I encountered- getting the flu for the first time in my life. And then my tutor set me a deadline for a completed draft, which I had to push by a week due to illness and injury. But, I still had three weeks till the deadline to do any alterations.
You may find yourself struggling and that is okay. There are university services available to you, through student support or the library. So, if you are unsure about referencing then sign up to a library session and grab the help you need. If you see a support tutor every week due to a learning issue, then make sure to show them your work. Sometimes, you look at something so much, the words begin to jumble and it just takes another set of eyes to pick up on good points or issues with your work. But, it is not just the people employed by university. Did you know that aside from you, the harshest critic of your work will most likely be a student so, tell your friends you would like them to read work and use them. For the most part, it is likely they are in the same position. But, remember to tell them to give you a truthful opinion, if it needs changing it needs changing.
It’s time to start thinking about the future…scary!
It may be a scary thought but, third year is about looking to the future and beginning to make life choices. Now, not everyone knows what they want to do and you know what that is okay. However, you need to have some plan so, you can begin planning your year around the next move in your life. I have decided I would like to work for the next year, before returning to gain a Masters degree. So, I have a plan. But, that won’t stop me from applying for jobs. Set up as many paths as possible and then you can choose which one you will take a journey down, as in the future you can always decide to change direction and jump onto another path.
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University isn’t the only thing in your life, and whilst third year may be stressful and take over your life it shouldn’t. Go and have fun. You don’t have to work constantly to get good grades, so meet with friends, go out and have fun. Or use spare time to develop yourself, it is as simple as setting up a blog or learning a new language or planning to travel. There are a million options in life, and you can pick from them all. Just have fun. For most of you, it’ll be the last year and although university is where we make the friends we’ll probably keep for life, go and have fun.
So, I’ve been sat doing work today, despite illness for an assignment that’s due in a few weeks time. And, as I packed up having written notes on the books I have and having found two more I want to look at before I find journal articles and write a plan this weekend for it. I found myself thinking about how fast final year has come around, it only seems like yesterday that I started first year after taking the decision in the summer to actually attend university. And so, this post is about reflecting on my growth and happiness and to encourage people to take chances.
First Year: I was scared, wondering whether I’d made the right decision about Sheffield Hallam University and commuting from home, as it was the cheapest decision. But, as I started my assignments and managed to come out with a mid 2.1 overall for the entire year. I even managed to get my first, first which inspired me to carry on aiming for a good grade. Also, I made the decision to move out for second year which was huge because I’m so close to my family but, I wanted to experience university. The independence and the decision to go to university is one of the best decisions I made, it gave me perspective and I became happier and happier!
Second Year: It was a little rocky at the beginning. I’d never lived on my own and it was hard to get into my own routine. But, after deciding to put myself first and learning how to budget-I’ve known how to look after myself for a while- I was happy. Happier than I’ve ever been which reflected in university with more firsts and leaving with a high 2.1 overall for my overall. I needed to learn to take breaks, and eat when I was doing work but, I did with the help of mum and dad.
Third Year: So, semester one is over and although it was very stressful for me I have come out the other side. I got extremely good and consistent grades throughout and I’m hoping to carry that on in this semester. I’ve made a decision to come back and get a MASTERS after a year out, to get perspective ( I’ve been in education my entire life). But, I’m happy. I can sit back and be proud of everything I’ve achieved.
But, now I’ll be in the real world and it has a funny way of creeping up on you. You don’t know how quickly it goes, university is only three years and I have to begin making decisions about what I want in life. I’m still close to my family, I have supportive friends and feel like I’m in the right place in life, that I need to be right now.
So, all this from just doing some assignment work. I’ve made decisions today, that I need to have schedules sorted and make sure I have breaks so I don’t over stress. I’ll update my blog on my progress and my dissertation work over time.
Being a bookworm is easy…most of the time. They provide me with an escape from the world but fiction books, not academic books. And so, with third year coming to a close I’ll be able to pick up my books and read but I’ve been having a little bit of trouble lately- I’ve been busy and it’s hard to pick up a fiction book when you’ve been reading academic ones all day! However, I’m not here to discuss that. I’m going to discuss my top three book sets to unwind, based on how I unwind and the fact once I pick a book up I cannot put it down till I finish it…
So here goes:
In Third Place:
Harry Potter…it is a beautiful set that reminds me of my childhood and I think the day my mum realised I was a bookworm, and possibly reading higher than the age of 6/7. You see my parents read to us- me and John as they thought it was important, it taught us something and enabled us to have an active imagination away from screens…Anyway, I got tired of waiting to hear how the third Harry Potter book ended and took matters into my own hand…reading books 1-3 in the space of a week. I wasn’t as fast as I am now. John liked being read too and I was impatient. I was also his younger sister so, when john used to be mean or annoyed me I’d threaten to tell him how the story ended. After that, my book collections began.
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In Second Place:
Percy Jackson…not just the original set but, the one produced after featuring a greek/roman crossover too. And even my brother speeds through these books which means they must be good. You see, I commandeered the first book from John, after I read it and wanted to read the rest of the series. He was getting rid of it, so really it was a rescue mission and I buy them all. I’ve even started the series based on Apollo. Any who, it is a great series- its easy and I just love the story even though I know how it goes? I know odd right. That is the earmark of a good book, that and a cracked spine because that means it’s been opened a few dozen times.
The Morganville Vampire Series…all 16 of them if you count the book of short stories which I do! Who wouldn’t want to unwind with these books. They are funny, entertaining, sad and happy! Basically a mix of emotions. I started this series after a very kind person from Waterstones turned me onto them, when I was deciding on a new set of books. It’s ONE of the best series I’ve ever read. Rest assured I’ll be back to the books soon. I would say allotting time for half an hour every night would be good but, I can never put a book down after half an hour, or half way through a chapter or if I need to see what happens in the next chapter.
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I have a question for you all out there. Bookworms unite. Are you a bookmark person or a page-folder. I’m a self-confessed page-folder and yes I know its bad but, I cannot help it! Even my mum tells me off for folding the page, she is a bookworm and uses a bookmark.