Course, Other University Factors

My University Journey

How to sum up the last four years? That’s a difficult question.

Overall, I would say that I have loved my course and everything I have learnt and experienced through it. But University is not just about the course you choose to study, its a number of other factors. At university, you learn to be independent, move away from home, juggle responsibilities and build friendships. These were my challenges. I haven’t had the best luck or experience with housemates over the two years I lived at university, this final year has been the best as I live with my boyfriend and have finally got a great group of girl friends on my course.

First year, living in halls is a new experience and you have to embrace it. At the time it was ok but looking back on it now, I remember the bad bits more than the good. Having to live with four boys and one girl, I didn’t really get on with had its challenges. Second year, I nearly broke and left university due to my housemates. Luckily I found my boyfriend at this time and he helped me through. From these two living situations, I am not in contact with any of the people I lived with, I guess that sums up a lot. Even Placement year, living at home with the parents and earning money, wasn’t what I had planned. The job opportunity I organised in the Caribbean fell through at the last minute which lead to the back up plan, which wasn’t as good and caused a lot of stressing at the time. But I guess every cloud has a silver lining, my last year has been the hardest in terms of course but the best. I feel I have found myself and who I want to go on to be. I want to be strong and confident, to enjoy life with all my family and friends that I have made for life!

I am proud of myself for pushing through the difficult times as it has made me the person I am today. I have got a university degree under my belt which will always hold the strong memories of ups and downs in the last four years!


F is for Fuelling Your Mind …

Revision is upon us and exam dates are drawing near. It’s time to focus, this is the last push for me to get the grades I really want. I am revising so much and with four exams fast approaching, the pressure is on.

The best part about revision is getting the new pads of paper and the colourful pens, so go and treat yourself to a whole new load of stationery. It makes revision more fun and also gets you out in the sunshine for a little bit. I have bought a new A4 pad of paper and two smaller books along with 4 new funky coloured pens to categorise my revision. My a4 pad is for my mind maps, writing down all the little bits of knowledge and notes I have from the lecture slides and seminar notes. Its important to get definitions down with correct citations for easy marks in the exam, so these are listed in one of my smaller books. Then I have questions and answers on everything I have revised to test myself later. This method is working for me as the repeat writing is letting the knowledge sink in.

Revision is a personal process as everyone learns differently. This is the time to find something that works for you and stick with it. For me, being organised has really helped – I have given myself enough time, to revise for all 4 exams allowing me to carry out about 3 hours of revision a day. Which is enough for the brain.

Fuelling it is important, drinking lots of water allows your mind to stay focussed and concentrate on the task at hand. This also means more wee stops as mini breaks which helps digest the information. Don’t cram to much in at one time, I find you just don’t remember it. Eating healthy is much better than pigging out on the junk food which everyone does at revision time. A piece of fruit will go much further than a chocolate bar especially when we are sitting so much! Which brings me onto exercise! Exercise makes me feel more energised and allows me to remember more, so go for a walk round the block, go to the gym for an hour, go play football with your mates. Just don’t forget to make time to revise.

Friends and group revision will also help, I find teaching others, teaches myself. By breaking down the information makes it easier to understand and more memorable. It also makes it a lot more fun as you can have a gossip whilst revising!

These are your exams, you have to sit them, its going to be your result at the end of the day, so only you can prepare yourself. If you haven’t start yet, I suggest you do now! If you have, well done! Keep going, your so close to the end. Just think this time next month …


Time Flys By…

Its week 22! Where have the last 22 weeks gone??

Having been at Portsmouth for 4 years now, I can say “that went fast”! Coming back from my Placement year and jumping into the final year has been a real struggle. It seems that not just me but some of my classmates have found writing academia hard work after having a year in the working world and forgetting pretty much all we learnt. I have to recommend the study support staff though, they really helped me with some of my coursework and my dissertation. Take advantage of their services as much as you can!



Tel: 02392 84 4007

Therefore this year, I have spent most of my time in the library, especially this term as my dissertation deadline is fast approaching. I have found my favourite spot and the best times to go, (I would tell you but don’t want you taking my spot ;)) IMG_3464

The life of a 4th Year:

I was walking home with one of my best friends, Sophie today and we were discussing plans for the weekend. She told me that she is really excited to go home this weekend, not just to see her mum and family etc but to have a BATH! That just made me think about how much our lives have changed from starting uni till now and how the different needs of individuals have changed. Also made me giggle haha, I guess its the little things.


Course, Other University Factors, Portsmouth

The Final Year

I have been at Portsmouth University for 3 years now and I am now heading into my final year here. Coming back after placement year has been a bit of a shock. While I was away, I worked in Legoland as a food and beverage assistant for 6 months, then onto Jurys Inn as a receptionist for 10 months or so.

Having the year out was a learning curve and an experience I will be able to use in my future career. I did learn a lot while I was on placement but it was really interesting to see what the rest of my course mates had gone through too. Over our induction week, we had to do a presentation to the second years who are planning their placements now, but it was also a time where we could see how everyone else got on. Some of my course mates didn’t enjoy their time and many changed there plans during their year. I guess I did too by doing two placements.

Being back at Portsmouth is great! I love this city and I am lucky enough to live with my boyfriend this year. Its new responsibilities for the both of us with the bills and keeping the flat to a nice standard is difficult. But it has been great to see the familiar faces of course mates and lecturers. Getting used to where all the buildings were again was a challenge but I think Ive got it.

Coming back to finish my degree is the basic aim, this year Im really trying to push myself to get that first overall. Its time to study and finish what I started. This year, I am ready for it!

Free time, Other University Factors

Work Hard, Play Hard …

I have learnt a lot over the last couple of months and have a lot on my plate at the moment. I am really enjoying the placement experience and all that it’s throwing at me.

There’s a lot more to reception than meets the eye and the eight hour shifts I’m doing just don’t seem to be long enough to fit everything in. I must be doing something right as I was announced employee of the month for February and my picture hangs for all to see in the Lobby of the hotel.

Having this behind me has given me confidence in my role, its also drawn attention from passing guests. However my job isn’t the only thing I’m wanting to excel in. Heading into my final year is daunting enough, especially when I’ve had a year in the world of work, away from it all. We had a placement review day some months back and it got me thinking about my dissertation, the tip was to start early so here I am. So far I’ve picked a general path for my project to go down and I’ve started reading around the subject to get more of a base for it. I want a topic I can relate too, enjoy and have some first hand experience to write about.

Focus is key at the moment but I’m glad I get time to play hard too. Last Thursday work put on a bowling night which ended up in a club (no idea) but it was a fabulous night out. Its good to know the people I work with are a bit of a laugh and a little bit crazy .. like me.


Free time, Other University Factors

It’s Christmas Time …

Well its that time of year again. Spend the most money and eat the most food, but generally I think everyone is slightly happier at this time of year. I am excited about this year (as always) but I’m a little bit disappointed too. I’ve only got Christmas day and boxing day off this year which is nice but such a change from the University schedule. Christmas is a nice break from work and the stress of uni normally, but not for me this year. Which has made me think about the following years too. I’m looking into getting a part time job next year just to help with the rent and things as I’m getting my own flat, but I guess that also means not getting a Christmas break next year either. Looks like I’ve finally entered the real World.

I suppose its because I’ve decided to go into the Hospitality Industry, where we stay open so others can enjoy this time of year outside of their own homes. I’m still thinking the career choice through. I enjoy hospitality but I don’t want to do it forever.

Working in reception, I get to meet lots of different people everyday but I still get nervous every time I go to work. Scared of messing up and doing things wrong, or getting stuck with a customer complaint. I’m still new and still learning, and until I’ve learnt everything I’m worried my confidence isn’t going to come out and save me. At least next week I’m only working 3 days of the week and get to enjoy quality time with my friends and family. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?


A New Start …

Tomorrow is a big day for me as I’m starting my new job. May sound strange coming from a uni student, but being on placement is all about getting the most out of the year. After doing nearly 6 months at Legoland, I am ready to find a new challenge. My new role is as a receptionist, something I have done before but not on this big scale.  When I went for my interview they explained to me how busy the hotel could become and explained I may be there alone to deal with about 5 different things at once, you can imagine how I’m feeling now…I’m glad it isn’t in the food and beverage sector as I feel I have completed that role as much as I can at the moment and hope this new role allows new doors to open.

My placement year isn’t at all how I imagined it would be. When I set out for the course back in 2011, I felt like it would boost my CV and make me stand out for when I leave university. Now that I’m actually doing it, sometimes it feels like a waste of time. However having this new job, I hope to feel like I’m more on the right path and have a chance to finally get on with my placement and learn as much as I can from the industry.

The possibilities are endless (just need to survive tomorrow)