I’m finding it very hard to digest the thought that I am now what is known as a ‘third year.’ The fact that I have completed two years of my degree already is so scary, and actually really sad. It feels like only yesterday that I was moving into A-1-1 of James Watson and meeting my flat mates for the first time. Despite the fact I lived with the most amazing bunch and complete mix of people in my first year, I never really knew my place, within my course or my accommodation. I always felt as if I was just ‘bumbling along’ but I never felt entirely comfortable. This year however, has been a difficult year for many personal reasons but on the whole I feel like at the end of Year Two I’ve finally found my place. I know this time next year I am going to be absolutely devastated to be leaving.
I’m not quite sure what it is that has made this year so fulfilling. I think perhaps moving into the new wing of Eldon Building, which had been specifically designed for my course, has been a factor. It really feels like a second home in there now, we have our studios with cupboards to store belongings and work, we have sofas and tea and coffee making facilities’, a fridge and a microwave. You literally could live there if they allowed it! When we moved in after Christmas it became a lot easier to get coursework done and I really felt like I got into a good, productive routine.
Architecture is unlike a lot of courses because we spend an awful lot more time in university than others. We have a ‘studio day’ where we’ll be in uni for the whole day, working in groups of around 20 people. A lot of people choose to work in studio at other times of the week as well, which means you end up getting to know people a lot more than just the odd ‘hello’ when you see them in a lecture twice a week. We’re a pretty sociable bunch, and I’m really lucky to have such a close friendship group within my course. We all tend to help each other out as well, particularly as it nears hand-ins and everyone is getting stressed and tuning into panic mode, it really helps having someone to reassure you who actually understands what you’re going through. I have relied on my course friends a lot this year, it seems like there is someone in the group to fit any purpose, someone for advice, others to make you laugh and cheer you up and others you can sit and chat for hours about absolutely everything with. In all honesty, if it hadn’t been for my incredible friends there is every chance I wouldn’t have completed this year. I’ve had such an astonishing turnaround since Christmas, I now don’t want to leave!
I’m currently trying not to think about the fact I only have one year left at University. All I can say to any fresher’s, or even second years, is to make the most of your time at Portsmouth. Take any opportunities you are given, the time you spend here will go so quickly, and they are years you will remember for the rest of your life.