Monday, 1 October 2018

My University Experience

Back on Thursday 19th July 2018, I finally graduated university.
For me, graduation came and went in the blink of an eye, and all the stress over deciding what to wear, making sure I was where I needed to be, and whether I would fall over on stage or not, was worth the incredible day I had with my family and friends. I thought it would be nice to document this life achievement by sharing a post all about my experience at university, as it has pretty much been my entire life for the past 3 years, and I'm eager to share my experience for anyone who might be thinking of going, or has just began their degree!

MY COURSE  -  I studied English Language at university, and usually everyone assumes an English degree studies and analyses literature so it's much easier for me to refer to my course as a Linguistics degree, which involves learning about language as a whole. To give an example, some of my modules included topics like 'psychology of language', 'language in society', and 'language and communication'. One of the last essays I wrote before I finished was actually discussing the use of astronomical names in the Harry Potter series, which was easily one of my favourite essays I wrote!

LECTURES AND WORKLOAD - We had three different modules in each semester, and three hours of teaching per module each week, usually spread out over three days. I was actually only a ten minute bus ride from where my mum worked during my time at university, so I would go with her in the morning and arrive for 9am, stay until she finished at 5pm and get the bus back to her work so I could catch a lift. This actually made it very easy for me to manage my workload, because I was essentially forced to go to library and get work done whilst I waited. Aside from the work I had to do for my essays, which involved research, planning and writing, we usually had 1 to 2 readings per module each week to complete in time for the next lecture. I definitely made more of an effort with these readings in my second and third year, and easily filled the extra time spent in the library!

MAKING FRIENDS AND SOCIAL LIFE - I was actually a lot more nervous at the idea of making friends and being involved in university life than anything else when I began my course! As someone who opted to stay at home as opposed to living in student accommodation, I had a huge fear that I would be one of few who didn't live on campus and therefore miss out on building friendships that way. I was incredibly lucky and became part of a friendship group in which the majority of us lived at home and travelled into university, meaning when we wanted to socialise it was easy for us all to meet up in town for food and drinks and know that people had to commute back. In a way, it made us just as close as if we all lived on campus, because we had to make more of an effort to socialise and see each other outside of lectures! I think it's definitely true when people say you make some of your greatest friends at university, whether that's through three years of living together, or three years of supporting each other through such an important chapter of your life!

UNIVERSITY SUPPORT  -  I was incredibly lucky in the sense that I had some wonderful people teach me throughout my degree. The support I was given, not only for the work, but also for wellbeing, was pivotal to the degree class I achieved. I think a lot of people can be scared to ask for help in the beginning of their degree, whether that's over work they don't understand or how well they're coping with transitioning to university life. I definitely developed my confidence over my three years at university, and further on in my degree I would actively seek out my lecturers for help if I was struggling with something, and I also reached out to the Health and Wellbeing centre at one point as well. It took me a long time to ask for help, but it's totally worth it when you do!

BALANCING WORK AND HOME LIFE  -  As I mentioned previously, the fact that I was able to easily stay at university outside of my lecture time made it much easier to tackle my workload. However, my third year was one of the most intense academic years I have yet experienced, and I definitely found myself struggling to balance work and leisure time. I found that the best way to balance my time was to start all of my work as early as possible and do something productive every single day, no matter how small. For my readings, I would usually work in stages and focus on reading a few pages a day. For my essays, I would plan and begin my research as early as possible, so that it was much easier when it came to writing. I also wrote in stages, and would give myself certain sections of my essays to write each day. This meant that I could complete my essays at my own pace, without a mad rush the day before deadline day. Saying that, this definitely wasn't the case for my first and even second year, and I definitely had times where I was glued to my desk writing 2000 word essays in one day. Even though third year had a much greater work load, I actually found I could enjoy both my work and social life properly, because I dedicated specific time to both of them! This also really helped when it came to motivation, because I would only need to do one hour of solid studying at one given time instead of eight, and I knew that once I had done it I could go out and see my friends, or relax at home without worrying that I hadn't got anything done!

LIFE AFTER UNIVERSITY  -  I've been a graduate for over two months now, and if I'm completely honest, I have no idea what I'm doing. Degrees are such time-consuming, all-encompassing things that when you're doing one, you just focus on getting it done and don't think about what will happen when it all ends. Luckily, there is a lot of support out there for recent graduates, and the vast majority of graduates are all in the same boat of having no clue what they're progressing onto. As terrifying as this period of uncertainty is, I'm so glad I chose to focus solely on my degree and enjoy my time at university when it happened. It'll definitely remain one of the most influential times of my life!

Have you been to university? What was it like for you?



  1. Your Harry Potter essay sounds amazing! One of my favourite essays I wrote was about clothing adornment in Easy A. I was a fashion major and I had tied in the Scarlett Letter as well!

    Effortlessly Sophisticated

    1. That sounds like so much fun! I loved being able to research and write something I already adored! xxx

  2. This is such a lovely post Hun and I love the sound of your Harry Potter essay! Congratulations :)

    Grace Louise ||

  3. I loved my time at university, it was amazing!

    Danielle xx

  4. Congratulations on graduating! I graduated in 2014 and many of my friends have only just settled into their careers so I wouldn't worry - good luck finding your feet on what you want to do / where you want to be :)

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

    1. Thank you! That's very reassuring to hear - I definitely panic way too often at the minute! <3 xxx


© Samantha Frances | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig