Blogmas Day 5 | Managing University

December 05, 2015

Today I've packed my bags, made the tough journey through the winds and hopped on a train to make it back to Aberdeen for the real festivities to begin. On Friday I marked the end of the semester's work with a celebratory brunch at Peter's Yard and let out a huge sigh of relief. One semester down, one more to go. I've decided to write a more reflective post about how I've managed to survive this semester of uni, as the work load has become more stressful and everything counts.

Third year has been a year that I've been looking forward to for a while. I wanted to chose my courses and specialise a little bit more, with the hope of getting better grades and becoming more interested in my courses. This year I've been studying Archaeology in Practice, Archaeological Illustration and Constantinople. All of the courses have required a bit more reading and preparation for each seminar, where I've been expected to interact more. It's a step up from last year, but with fewer contact hours its actually much more manageable. I've found prioritising and dedicating time to studies has been the key. Timetabled 9 am starts have now become my wish, after praying not to have them last year. It means I get up and get started with work - and doesn't give me the option of 'another episode'. I've also realised the importance of doing the readings as it actually helps to consolidate my knowledge and help me understand what is going on in the lectures. Starting essays nice and early has been my plan of attack. It feels like I haven't stopped working since the start of October, but the effort will hopefully be worth it when the grades come in next month.

Results have become much more important to me. While I've always aimed to do my best, its now a case of everything matters. Each essay and report counts towards my final classification for my degree next year, and that scares me! I think I'd be daft not to be scared by this prospect! But I've tried to take that and channel it into motivation to do well. I now plan to do a masters shortly after graduating, so achieving my best will ultimately allow me to do what I want.

Of course grades aren't the only thing that matters, and I've taken this semester as an opportunity to expand my CV, which was lets just say less than full. I now volunteer at my school's library, and I have become a peer mentor. My favourite thing that I've taken on this year is an internship in the archaeology department's artefact room - the Childe Collection. This comprises of thousands of objects, all of which I've been working my way through to help catalogue and conserve. This was a fantastic opportunity that came about because I dared to ask. That's one thing I have learnt this year - lecturers want to help. I've gone to see my personal tutor so many times to chat about opportunities, to learn about his past digs and experience and it all helps my CV as well as my coursework. I'm really looking forward to next term as I've got another internship lined up in an commercial archaeology company shadowing the different teams and learning new skills. On top of this I'm still on the look out for new things that I can do, gain some more experience and learn. It's something that was told to us in first year and only just setting in now - university degrees are useless on their own. It's so important to try your hand at other things, whether related to your degree or not, its all experience. What's more is it gets me out of the library (my home away from home) or my flat, and gets me doing something that I enjoy.

University is all about enjoyment. Soon jobs will take over and we won't have as much time to binge watch entire seasons in a day - which I have done more than enough of and have gotten through too many programmes for it to be normal - or pop out for drinks or dinner or an evening at a friend's flat. So I've tried to be as social as I can, chatting away to my flat mates, meeting up with friends and organising things. Yes I may have spent my lunch money on another glass of mulled wine - which I have drank on three nights this week - but tis the season!

This year I have learnt to embrace it all, and you know what? I haven't even cried a single time this year.. if only scared little first year Emily had known these tricks!


Bloglovin | GFC | Twitter | Instagram

You Might Also Like


  1. Your university looks like from it's from a book or enchanted movie! <3


    1. haha, I know right! Its so beautiful, I do love it.