It has over a month since summer officially began and if you live in the United Kingdom (as I do) then you’ll be well aware we’ve had sun, cloud, rain and more cloud! That’s right, we had that week of boiling hot sun and I’m guessing that is it for us…
I should not be surprised. I grew up here, I actually remember the English floods we had ten years ago this summer. Here summer is humid and cloudy most of the time. It’s a good job I haven’t gone away camping, it always seems to rain when that happens. I have an interesting factoid for you all though which I can certainly witness:
It is the most thundery time of year…
Yes, it is, and especially here in the UK. You see its either cloudy and humid leading to a build-up or it chucks it down and thunder always comes with rain. Either way, if you are from the UK or visiting expect some thunder or rain or both.
And you wonder why the English are so prepared. You see when we leave the house we need to make sure we pack for any sudden changes in the weather. Just because we left the house and it was warm does not mean that you won’t get soaked coming back from a day out or work? It’s a rule of thumb but you get used to it and this preparedness rubs off on us wherever we go. So next time you are laughing at an overprepared tourist with a pac ‘a’ mac, an umbrella, wellies on with shorts and a strappy top and a warm jumper wrapped around out waists just remember this is what we have come to expect. But also, when it does rain and we are perfectly dry and you are soaked because we came prepared then yes, we are laughing at you.
But you’ll also find this odd weather climate has prepared us. While it drops below 14 and you begin to get cold…if you live in a warmer climate those of us from over the pond still consider this warm! Or in the Autumn when we just stick a pair of tights on underneath our skirts and dresses that’s because we are used to the cooler climate, and for us it is still warm. SO, in some respects English weather has prepared us to be resilient and organised in the face of all weather.
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, with my dissertation based on detective programmes, I’ve found myself thinking about all the shows I love! It’d be a a crime to have not watched any at all. My humble beginnings as an avid-crime show watcher began with my parents! They’ve watched them since as far as I can remember and it’s a common occurence in my house to guess who dunnit? And normally, myself and dad have cracked it before the end!
From Morse, to Endeavour, to Midsummer Murders, to Vera, to New Tricks, to Criminal Minds, to Law and Order SVU and many more. A Saturday night in, normally entails a crime show or two with dad guessing right and mum pretending to be mad she didn’t get it right. And I can’t recommend them enough! They are easy viewing but, they keep you on your toes too!
But, you’ll be wondering why I’m writing this post now. Well, I’m watching Vera as we speak and I’m going to do a top five of my favourites to watch!
Criminal Minds: originally, I flicked onto this by accident and the programme was so good I decided to watch more and now I love it! From the brainy Dr Spencer Reid to the experience of David Rossi, this show keeps you guessing. Little is focused on the forensics and more is shown of the team, the killer and the profiling. After, a while I got my mum into the show and now she watches it regularly.
Vera: I’d seen a few before but, this show began with my parents. They liked it and I managed to catch an episode and I was hooked. It’s probably why I’m researching it for my dissertation! Vera is strong, grumpy, smart and curious all into one. It’s great and reminiscent of Morse.
Law and Order SVU: I can’t even remember how I began watching this show but it’s great. Focused on the victims and the cops, you see the gritty side of New York among other places.
Lewis: A spin-off from Morse, it focuses on a worn out Lewis coping with his mentor and wife’s death. Close friends and later lovers with the coroner you see the relationships grow! It’s demonstrates how the personal and the professional can get mixed together. My parents began this one, and I’ve loved it ever since. Currently, on Netflix you won’t want to miss it!
New Tricks: Something my mum found for us to watch! It’s great. A modern female boss mixed in with three old school cops stuck in their ways. It’s funny but, also focuses on the crimes. This team investigates the old, forgotten cases providing the family answers, they could never get. While clashing with each other’s methods they always seem to get the job done.
So, these are my top five but we’ve all got crime shows we love. It’d be a crime not to watch a few! So, why not flick onto them next time you see them?
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.