Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Guess who's back (back again?)

Third Year, and its pros/cons

*quick note on photos, I haven't got a digital camera at the moment, so I'm waiting to finish up with my current disposable one before I can get it developed. Hence I don't own any of the photos in the following post, they have been shamefully taken from friends' Facebook pages!

Ok, so this term has been tough. There are quite a few parallels with first year, to be honest;

a) the return of the feeling that you actually have no idea what you're doing
b) the tendency to return to familiar friends/ things rather than try to find new ones (although this isn't entirely true, obviously)
c) the desire to go home and cry about how much work you have to do can be overwhelming 

Just kidding about that last point.

Well, kinda.

So I did actually find that the work/life balance was harder than it had been in 2nd year, or at least. the last half of second year, This basically has to do with the fact that I am spending more time solely on work this year, due to the fact that 100% of my degree is based on my 3rd year performance. There was also the added challenge of the fact that the day before term ended my new thesis supervisor casually informed me that I should probably be on the hunt for new primary sources, seeing as my current proposition probably wasn't steady enough to support 12,000 and original insight etc. I#m trying to tell myself that this isn't the same as starting from scratch but...it's hard to deny that it'll be a lot of work until it's handed in.
Yes, our sports field really does look like this when the sun sets. Problem?

It really is a return to first principles then, I feel like I have, in many ways, come full circle. Just as I felt like I was getting the hang of this whole uni thing, suddenly I feel like someone came along and took the bottom out of the swimming pool I was wading in.

For anyone reading this - don't be scared. The fact that I've worked the hardest I've ever worked during my final year of university is really unsurprising, It's like the fact that I'd always worked "the hardest I've ever worked" every year at school, as I went through GCSEs, AS levels, A2s etc. Although GCSEs were slightly different because there were just SO MANY exams that summer, about 25 hours in total if I remember correctly.

At least there's only 15 hours of exams next June, yay!

Christmas formal

Now for the positives, I had to get my kicks somewhere. Here are some of my highlights of the last term, so that when I look back on this post I don't think that I just spent the last eight weeks completely miserable;

> Movie nights with friends including a copious amount of sweet food. So simple. So satisfying.
> Watching The Imitation Game with flatmates, at the cinema. Yeah, I cried.
> Going to see a student performance of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials (they did the same as the Golden Compass film really, covered all of the plot from Northern Lights and then half of The Subtle Knife). There was a fake snow machine and paper mache heads for the daemons. Need I say more.
> Seeing the Japanese studio Ghibli film The Wind Rises with subtitles. Shown in a lecture theatre, by good old-fashioned projection.
> College Christmas party. Chocolate fountain, photo booth and the chance to dress up whilst listening to live Christmas music.
> That time I was having a bad day and the Christmas tree was put up in the middle of the library quad (ditto the time that I was sick of work, checked my post and had received a chocolate bar from an anonymous friend - and all of the times I know for an actual fact that my friends hid chocolate in my kitchen cupboard!)
> The Christmas tree in kitchen quad that was decorated with food including lemon slices and chili peppers

NOT the food Christmas tree from my college, sadly. This is the big one outside Balliol, on Broad Street. 

I still managed to do some stuff outside of studying and having an (albeit infrequent) social life. This included a photoshoot for the new undergrad prospectus, helping to run a stall at Fresher's fair, volunteering in the museum that I know live opposite, and even a quick morning of office work for the department I often volunteer with at university.

Songs that got me through term:

Nope, definitely not a record of the latest trends, nor are they really modern classics. Just what I've found featured highly on my Youtube watch history.


John Legend - All of Me


MAGIC! - Rude


Kate Rusby - Village Green Preservation Society

That's all I can think of for now, I think this post is long enough. I might update again quickly after Christmas, but we'll see how it goes :)