Clubs and societies, Course, Free time, Study

An End in Sight

The last month (well, the last term actually) has not been easy. Deadlines were constant, and as soon as one piece of work was handed in, another had to be started. The weather was mad: first there was cold, then snow, then sun, then rain and then freezing cold again. Isn’t it meant to be Spring already?

At times the constant focus on getting all the work done made it feel like I was living on another plane of existence. But now all the big essays have been handed in. I’ve done a Japanese speaking exam and delivered a great group presentation about an Argentinian political party. And that brings a sense of relief. The only thing left now is my dissertation proposal. Luckily, this is not marked, but of course I want to do a decent piece of work, as this will help me focus my research over summer. That needs to be handed in tomorrow… so I really should start writing it!

Yesterday I was elected as the Secretary of the newly formed ‘Japanese Language and Culture Society’. Yay! Though to be honest I don’t really like the title ‘Secretary’, (so if anyone asks, I’m the Vice-President!) Whatever you call me, it’s really cool just to have a position on the committee of an official Society. If you’re interested in joining us, come and find us! We really want new members!

So now we’ve finally reached that imaginary light at the end of the tunnel – tomorrow is the last day of classes for my Second Year. But of course the year’s not really finished yet. There will be exams and more essays to be done for the assessment period in May. So I guess April will not be a total holiday, but at least the pressure will be off for a while!

Have a great Easter!


Course, Coursework

Who needs sleep when there is coursework to do?!

It’s Tuesday, 5:45am and I haven’t slept in over 20 hours.

I guess I have done it again. I procrastinated. I procrastinated big time! However, the good news is that I have now completed 3 out of 4 pieces of a four thousand word portfolio. Bad news is that the last piece is actually the longest… I have a feeling I won’t be sleeping tomorrow night either.

But things will get better eventually… they will, right?


Looking Forward

Next week, or this week if you are one of those folks who starts counting their week from Sunday, is my last week of lectures ever at Portsmouth. I suppose you could say I’m at the final stretch of my University life. A lot of my friends and I are looking towards next year with fear in our eyes. What are we going to do? Where are we going to live? Will we stay in contact? Where did all our money go?

It’s weird. It reminds me of my last day of college in a way. Exactly the same thoughts were going through my head (my younger, much more hip and cool head). In the same way, I didn’t know what to expect from University, I now have no idea what to expect from life WITHOUT university! I’ve grown quite attached to my little group of friends (or minions as I cheerfully call them whenever we meet up) I’ve gained over the years and in a few months time we will be scattered all over the UK instead of all over Portsmouth. On top of that we won’t be ‘students’ anymore. We will be grown up adults who wear fancy clothes and talk about important things at meetings with serious looks on our faces.

As I said. Weird.

If I said I wasn’t excited though I would be lying. I’m sure it isn’t the same for all people, but I feel that when I finished college, I was still pretty childish and not completely ready for adult responsibilities. University has given me a way to develop as a person, allowed me to become more mature (even if I choose not to act like it most of the time) so that when I am wearing fancy clothes and at important meetings, I will feel in the right place and be able to deal with whatever the world throws at me. If you are the fun metaphor type of person, I suppose you could say I was like a cake. When I got out of college I was still the ingredients mixed together in the mixing bowl and University helped shape me and cooked me at the right temperature and now I am nearly ready to take out of the oven,  the degree I will (hopefully) receive the icing on top. Was that a sufficient metaphor? Or are you just hungry and craving cake now like I am?

Either way, I think the last 3 years will impact heavily on the rest of our lives though, no matter what we go off and do. Whether it be related to our course or we go off and hide in a cave living off sweet corn scavenged from the bins behind a nearby supermarket, we won’t be able to forget the experience we have gained.

Blake's View, Clubs and societies, Course, Free time, Island Experience, Nightlife, Sport, Travels

Blake’s View: It’s Not What You Know

They say it’s not what you know in life, but who you know.

It might seem strangely ironic coming from a University student, but the greatest thing I’ve learned so far is the truth of this statement!

Reading Richard’s recent post ‘Friends will be Friends’ really got me thinking.

You see, like my fellow blogger, I had never really ‘met’ anyone who was not British before. Sure, I had been on holiday to foreign lands. But all the friends I had ever had were British. It seemed likely to continue that way for ever.

Yet, one of the best things about University for me has been meeting new people, people who in my average life I would never have had reason to meet. By joining societies, learning a new language and participating in extracurricular activities, I now have friends from far-flung corners of my own country, as well as a variety of places in Europe, Africa and Asia.

People will tell you that University is all about studying, gaining ‘life skills’ or just getting the certificate to improve your prospects of employment. Certainly these were the main reasons in my mind when I convinced myself to give a University degree a second chance. In fact, they’re all good things about University.

But if you look a little deeper, you start to realise that University provides a meeting ground for a wide range of individuals, with different backgrounds, beliefs and abilities. If you make the effort to join a society, take up a sport or learn a language, you will find that you encounter an amazing array of new people. People who, under normal circumstances, you may never have met.

In the future, the friends I have made here will allow me to have new experiences, visit new places, and learn new things. I’ve really enjoyed studying the Americas in my course. But the best thing I will take away with me will be the friends I have made, the happy memories they have provided, and some fantastic opportunities for the future.

Course, Coursework, Future

The end is near (but let’s not be too dramatic)

It recently dawned on me that my University experience is coming to an end. Who would’ve thought, right? I mean, I was aware of this since the beginning of Year 3 (or Level 6 as they now call it), but now that the moment has come I can’t help but feel that the past three years have gone a little too fast and I have missed out on many things. But now it’s not the time to evaluate my time here. Now it’s time to get organised and finish all that needs to be done.

But first things first. Having finished my dissertation I now need to concentrate on my coursework which is due in on 28th of March. I need to pull myself together and finish before then, to avoid the crowded trains. I’m sure I can accomplish that, but it might involve some all-nighters at the library (which we’ve all done before) and litres of tea, which I’m slowly but surely becoming addicted to! 🙂 But it can be done! Speaking of all-nighters, I remember that once I spent a total of 16 hours straight at the library (starting from 6pm) and I was the first customer at the Union Co-op at 7am! But I got the work done and crashed immediately after getting home…

Moving on… Once a period of your life is ending, another one will start. Having said that, I am proud to announce that today I have submitted my Master’s application to King’s College London! The deadline for submission is tomorrow, so I can hear from them anytime soon! And I hope I at least get an interview with them! I am very excited about this, but at the same time I’m extremely worried. King’s College is the only place I’m applying to this year as it has the perfect course for me, but it’s very competitive and if I don’t get in… Well, I’m gonna have to organise my time somehow. I am already looking at graduate psychology jobs so I know what to expect, but I guess we’ll see what happens once I heard back from King’s College.

I’m having a lazy evening tonight, but I’m back to coursework from tomorrow – the work will not do itself after all! (Although sometimes I wish it would 😉 )

Uni Life

Friends will be Friends

When someone says the word ‘Party’ to me, I recoil like a vampire in sunlight (and occasionally hiss like one too, but only if I have had too much sugar that day). I, to the disappointment of many of my friends, am not a ‘party animal’. I don’t drink, I don’t like loud music or dancing and I’m not too fond of strangers getting too close. I’m a pretty boring person in that respect. Now bear with me, I’m not using this blog to moan about all the ‘youths’ and their ‘bad habits’. Some people enjoy doing all those things and if you do, I’m not going to hold it against you. People are all unique.

See? That’s the point I was trying to get to (whilst moaning at the same time. Multitasking!) One of the most exciting (and most terrifying for some) aspects of Uni life is all the different people they will meet. I’ve met a crazy amount of people whilst here in Portsmouth, and all of them are unique in their own way.  Did you know that before I came to University, I had never been friends with a person who wasn’t British? In fact, I don’t think I had a conversation with someone from a far and distant land (aka beyond the British Channel) which lasted more than a few sentences. Within my first week of coming to Portsmouth I found myself having dinner (rather uncomfortably) with someone from Romania. At that point, I don’t think I could have found Romania on a map (geography isn’t one of my strong points) and suddenly she was sat next to me. I coped in my normal usual way, I made as little conversation as possible, and nervously chewed on my pizza whilst she made conversation with other people on my table but I’ll never forget that experience.  Nowadays, she lives with me in the same house and steals pizza off my plate, so you could say I got used to being around her.

I guess what I’m trying to say, in a long and rambley sort of way is that you, potential university student (or whoever is reading this), are going to meet a lot of new people. Not only at Uni but throughout your life. Even if you don’t want to and try to hide in your room all day. I’ve been there. You run out of food eventually.  You might find it hard at first, I went through my first semester thinking I wouldn’t make any friends and you might meet people you don’t like, but don’t feel disheartened. Just think of me, socially awkward guy on gaming course. I now have friends who accept my grumpy ‘stay inside and read a book’ nature. They are from lots of different countries, some like to party, some are quiet, some are tall, some are short but they all accept me for me and they make Uni all the better because of it. Also one of them is Maria who does the blog next door, so go check it out! (it’s almost as good as mine!). University is about learning and growing as a person and not just about ‘doing the work and getting a job’ despite what some people say.  My experiences with my friends have given me some stories which I can tell and laugh about for the rest of my life. Also, as a bonus, I can now tell you where Romania is on a map!

Free time, Other University Factors, Travels

Give It A Go…

Why come to university? For a degree? To become more employable? For the experience?

Well yes, all of those and so much more. Being in my second year, I’ve realised what university is all about. Things get a lot harder in the second year and sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with it all. Can’t think what my last year will be like but thats 2 years away for me yet. But being at uni is about developing yourself as a person, creating memories that last a lifetime and experiencing all you can!

I recently visited the Beautiful city of Amsterdam with the Union for a very reasonable price and I want to encourage as many of you as possible to get involved in the Give It A Go Trips. How many people can say they’ve been to Disneyland Paris and Amsterdam in a year as a student? These opportunities don’t last forever so take everything that’s thrown at you!

This time of year is stressful for everyone, with deadlines suddenly upon us and exams right round the corner, there’s hardly time to have a life but be positive and use every second you have. I know students have a tendency to be lazy and waste days lying in bed but this isnt the time to be doing nothing. I have so much on my plate at the moment but the best feeling is knowing that i am doing everything that is given to me and well I may add.

It’s finally time to start living my life, my way with as much as possible in it!