So, if you have have read the previous post about what was difficult the first year, this is a continuation of it.
Your old friends.
Since my gap year, where I was no longer in constant proximity to those I knew for up to 7 years (like I was in Sixth form), my old group has split up and gone different ways. It is difficult to keep in touch when they are in their second year and you just started university. This is when you find out who you actually want to keep in touch with, despite the distance.
Change of assessments.
I have never done as many group tasks as I have in this one year. I like people, I really do. Just not all the time. And when the grades are taken from the group as a whole, and you have to do an essay, which you have only done independently, or a poster or a video, it is a challenge. So many people want it their own way or there are some who are content to just sit back. Either way, it can sometimes be a frustrating affair.
At the end of the year, though, it has taught me important skills which I have used.
For those of you who are not a fan of group work: my advice is to do the best you can do- you never know – it can be fun with the right people. .. I enjoyed it, eventually… but most importantly: I learnt valuable skills during the process – what’s important and what’s not effective when taking leadership, how to be an effective team player, etc. You learn a lot about yourself as well… I never particularly saw myself as taking the lead role, but it turns out, I can do that and that’s a useful skill.
Research Methods, or as I like to name it- the bane of my existence, my Arch nemesis… Need I say more? Just in case you want a refresher. Some parts aren’t so much hard as it is mind-numbingly boring. Or SPSS refusing to cooperate with you. Or you think, YES I have finished my portfolio and dammit there’s another one due and just when you think you’re off the hook, BAM… there’s the research report due as well!
When you return from the university, after living independently, there will be a change in the dynamic of the household, for a period of time while everyone adjusts to your return, including yourself. It can be frustrating sometimes!
And this concludes this mini-series on the difficulties of the first year. But, I’ve been away from the university the past couple of weeks, and I already can’t wait to get back. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my summer because I have been told the second year is a lot harder academically, so challenge accepted!