Friday 25 April has been highlighted in my calendar for a while now. By 12 noon, all dissertations for this year had to be handed in. I’m pleased to say, for once, I didn’t leave it until the last moment – though I do feel I cut it close.
After a last minute meeting with my tutor on Thursday, and then several more hours finishing and printing my work, I was able to hand in my dissertation at 2.45pm – one day early! I’ll let you know how it went when I receive my results.
All that stands in my way to graduation is a very long project and two essays, and only two weeks to finish it all. It’s funny though, because no matter how stressed I am right now, I know I will miss this when it’s gone.
Although lectures finished in March, sadly this month has not been a relaxing time. With all the work I need to complete, plus thinking about post-graduation plans, my stress levels are maxed out. My room is a mess with books and papers, my mind is a jumble of words and thoughts.
By Friday, my dissertation must be bound and submitted to Park Building. That moment will be scary, but also a great relief! But it doesn’t end there. The following week I have to hand in an essay which I’m finishing now, and an entire project which I’ve yet to start. Following that will be my last ever deadline: one final essay.
And, then, it will be over.
All that will remain will be the joyous time of the Graduation ceremony and Graduation Ball in July. I’m very excited about these celebratory events. For the moment, I just need to focus my energies on the work at hand.
I suspect like many students, I thought this day would never come. Not quite graduation, but getting pretty close to it; this is my final ever week of lectures and seminars at university.
It isn’t the time yet for a full reflection on university, considering that I have two essays, a 4,000 word project and of course the good ol’ dissertation to hand in very, very soon. However, to know that this is my last official week of university is a gasp-worthy moment. To say those words, “the final week”, is really quite strange. For a moment, it feels as if the floor has dissolved under my feet, and I’m floating in an out-of-body-experience type moment. It doesn’t seem possible.
All I can say to anyone considering a degree is that, on the first day you step into a lecture, it seems you have a long way to go. When you’re studying furiously for an assignment you should have started weeks ago, it feels as if the workload will never end.
I’m here, nearing the end of that journey. It does end, and much too quickly.
I’ll give it one last burst of energy.
This is the final run.
Located on the ground floor of the Nuffield Centre there’s a space called the Chaplaincy, and in today’s blog I wanted to highlight this great place.
Chances are that many students are not aware of it. It’s a quiet, interfaith area, where students can relax on sofas and beanbags to chat or chill-out in a peaceful and civilised environment. Fairy lights strung up the walls and classical music playing gently in the background give the Chaplaincy a hospitable feeling. There are even free tea and coffee making facilities – useful to know when your wallet’s empty but you could do with a hot drink to help you recharge! If you ever have time in-between lectures and don’t have a place to turn, I’d wholeheartedly recommend the Chaplaincy. Just respect that it’s a quiet place, and it should stay that way.
Take a look here to find out more. The Chaplaincy is a place for people of any faith, or none at all. Although I’ve never met with a chaplain myself, they’re always around to speak to if you have any problems, and you don’t even need an appointment.
I must admit, I had never really used a library before I came to university. If I ever wanted to know about something when I was at school or college, I would always turn to the internet. I thought libraries were boring, stuffy places. Yet since I’ve been here at Portsmouth, I have started to enjoy my visits to the university library.
At first I was a bit intimidated; finding a single book in this gigantic place unnerved me. But it wasn’t long before I had mastered the library’s e-catalogue, and now finding a relevant work is second nature. The more time you spend in the library, the more you realise what a wealth of knowledge is waiting to be uncovered. Sometimes it’s just fun to search the catalogue for a random word and see what comes up. There are books on everything! The new computerised system for withdrawing and returning books makes the process even easier, and is kind of futuristic!
You can easily lose track of time flicking through the daily newspapers on the ground floor, or observing the informative displays, which change regularly – a recent one about LGBT celebrities caught my attention. The library retains a powerful energy. Sound and time seem repressed and muted, yet the building is a meeting place for everyone in the university, and that vibrant aura permeates between the rows of tomes. It’s almost as if you can see the energy, like the dust particles sparkling in a ray of light on a sunny afternoon.
Now, when I want to find out more on a topic, I turn to the trusty library. Every time I leave that great building, my backpack laden with heavy books, I get a strange twinge that I’m a student. It’s a good sensation, scholarly and strangely optimistic. The library feeling strikes again!