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Year 2 Placement 2

Hello all,

It’s the start of the new year and I’m back on placement for the second time this academic year. 

I started my placement in CT planning, next week I’ll be in radiotherapy physics, and then I’ll finish my 4 weeks  on the Linac (radiotherapy treatment machine pictured below). 

I’ve spent a few hours on the linac in between CT patients and have had the honour to be involved with some ‘deep inspiration breath hold’ (pictured below) techniques. This is a new and up-and-coming technique which is improving the lives of breast cancer patients post treatment. It maximises the radiation dose to the tumour whilst minimising the dose to the heart. 

I’ve had a great time learning so far, and am looking forward to the next 2 weeks. There really is no better way to learn than being hands on! 

If you’re interested further in my placement experience, I’ve been posting on the University Instagram site: 

All the best with the new year! 

Felicity 

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Work and Play and Play and Work

I’ve often struggled with balance. I am a worrier by nature and the idea that I am graduating in a few short months has sent me into a blind panic. The Autumn term was one of the most wonderful but also most stressful I have had to handle so far.

I have a tendency to say yes to anything I can physically fit into my schedule. I’ve been so scared to turn down all the fantastic opportunities offered to me at university that I overloaded myself. This past term I have worked 20 hours a week at my part-time job at Waterstones which I adore. I have worked freelance as a check listener for Red Apple Audiobooks, listening to audiobooks and checking they match the text. I have become a student ambassador for the university, promoting higher education and talking to young people about university life. I released an EP which means I am finally making some money from my art. I started learning to drive. I became deputy opinion editor of the Galleon (the student newspaper). I finally wrote an 11,000 word novella I have been wanting to write for 5 years and handed it in as 50% of my dissertation. I have been published by Trash Arts, The Tab, Pugwash and The Galleon. I played many many successful gigs including a 50-minute set at the Student Union. I volunteered teaching children creative writing. I volunteered working at a creative organisation which puts on gigs, film and poetry nights as well as making films themselves. I help with their promotion, marketing, as well as performing live music and poetry, booking acts and planning events. All whilst writing for this blog and maintaining my own one. And did I mention attending university and handing in six pieces of coursework?

And sleep? I did manage to sleep sometimes!

By the end of the term I was, unsurprisingly, absolutely drained. I was running on empty. It wasn’t healthy. My New Year’s Resolution was, ironically, to simply do less. I need to learn to say no and make more time for myself. I am living an absolute dream at university, studying something I adore, surrounded by wonderful people I love and with every opportunity at my fingertips. Coming to university has opened an unlimited number of doors for me, even more than I could possibly imagine. I just need to start picking my door more carefully or I won’t have the energy to even get to the handle of the next one.

So I have said no, granted not to much, but I have done it and that’s progress. I am taking on less and allowing myself time to breathe and it’s doing the world of good. The Christmas break was needed so unbelievably bad but I took most of the break to just calm down, relax and spend time with family and friends. I am now feeling so replenished, ready to tackle whatever this term throws at me.

Uni has given me so much and it is the best thing I have ever ever done. I doubt I will ever have so many opportunities presented to me. I want to take them all with everything I have, but I am learning the importance of balance. It can’t all be work!

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The End of a Term and Year

It’s comforting to end the first term on a high, with coursework done early and feeling like you’ve understood most of what you’ve done so far in the year. Making just the smallest start on a piece of work long before the deadline helps massively I’ve found – later down the line, when considering what work you want to do you can refer back to what you’ve done and have a better idea of what needed to be added on, additional plans and content.

Something that’s been on my mind is to venture beyond my own subject area, for Computing learning a new programming language outside of my studies would be fun, a good use of time and look good on a CV, however many businesses consider applicants for multiple divisions (HR, Tech, Finance) and showing that you’ve decided to do something outside your ‘area of expertise’. Writing (for example, blogs) or really any type of volunteering would be looked favourably upon employers as being well-rounded and a mixture of skills.

If you have the opportunity to, I’d advise everyone to visit a convention/exhibition at some point, if you’re into gaming/anime/comics there’s multiple Comic Cons throughout the year as well as other conventions catering to specific interests. You could also meet famous people/groups you’ve watched/listened to, when I visited MCM Comic Con in London last October I had a great time and met many awesome people.

There’s been some great movies in the past few months, Doctor Strange was another great Marvel origins story, and a return to the Harry Potter Universe with Fantastic Beasts, of course it’s entirely subjective, with some people disliking Hollywood’s big budget films, that said, there’s plenty of independent film-makers creating some quality productions.

Regarding budgeting I think one of the biggest factors in people planning poorly is that if you don’t budget before the time period (e.g. start of term) then you usually slip into some bad buying habits you can’t keep up through the term. With myself, I find having a rough idea of bank balances, rent and expenses I’m going to encounter in the year… making sure I can be stable financially. There’s rarely any need for specialist budgeting software/tools and if you do decide to use something such as MS Excel be mindful of security with bank details and your own account.

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A Very Merry Christmas

Hello and merry Christmas to everyone.

Most students are now back at home with their families engaging in the festivities. Below is my, not amazing, attempt at a gingerbread house. (If you look closely you can see that the back wall has fallen down!)

Christmas is my favourite time of the year; relaxing, snuggling up with a movie, and hot chocolate with marshmallows. There are assignments that I need to complete before returning to university in January, but for a few days it’s nothing but good food and good company. (University isn’t all about studying.)

Wherever you are, whatever you’re up to, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope you have a good one.

All the best,

Felicity

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Personal Statements and such …

Hello all,

These last few weeks have been a whirlwind, crazy, non-stop, action packed blur.

The difference between being a second year student compared to last year is becoming apparent, but in a positive way. We are starting to have more lectures on reflection on one’s self and one’s ability. For me this has never been a problem, as I tend to over-think everything. However, these sessions have helped me to do this in a healthy way. Plus, we have been assigned an online portfolio to create. We also did this last year, but it isn’t until now that I really understood why.

As a future health care professional CPD (continuing professional development) will be an ongoing process for the rest of my career. Just as many people are slaving away over their personal statements at the moment, I am creating a portfolio of my achievements online.

It is always difficult to sell yourself without sounding manufactured. “I am a team player”, “I am caring”, we’ve all written it on job applications or personal statements (guilty!). But what do we have to show for this?

What I have taken away from these lectures, and is my top tip anyone in the position of personal statement  writing, or portfolio creating, is back it up with evidence. How are you caring? Give examples. Have you done voluntary work? Were you a mentor for younger students at school? Once you dig deep you may realise that you’ve done so much more than you first thought.

It is a really positive feeling to reflect on your achievements. It makes selling yourself much easier when you’ve sold yourself to yourself!

I wish everyone applying for uni / jobs / anything the best of luck.

Felicity

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Hitting the deadlines

teaThis week marks the return to university from placement in the hospital, and the return to responsibilities. When you are on placement, even for only 5 weeks, university and assignments seem a distant memory.
These last few days have been a bit of a wake up call. With an assignment due Friday and another in a couple of weeks time, it is time to knuckle down and get things done.
I spoke with a lecturer today, and she asked me how I cope when I am stressed. The truth is, I drink tea and cuddle my cats a bit tighter than they would like. As such, this evening has consisted of cookies, tea and folders to get tasks completed. (The cats seemed less than interested in a snuggle.)

Now I am feeling relaxed and motivated to get these deadlines met.

Good luck with any deadlines of your own.

Felicity

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Student blog 1: week 7, 3815 miles…. (109 miles a day multiplied by 5 days a week multiplied again by 7 weeks for those of you who care.)

So a bit of back ground as I am new to this whole blogging thing.(You may also figure out from reading this I am also no literary genius either….)

Never blogged before so be patient with me if I am rubbish, Please?

I studied an undergrad BA business studies at Portsmouth, this was a 4 year course with my third year working full time at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in the marketing department. So after 4 years I decided I wanted to take a Masters, but I was also fed up of being a broke student…

So solution: I work full time for a vehicle leasing and insurance broker as well as studying full time at Portsmouth for the MSC and I also travel to and from Surrey every day as although it’s a massive pain its cheaper than renting a place in Portsmouth end result I’m kind of busy.  Which is why end result you haven’t heard a peep from me until now.

So nothing super exciting for you the reader has happened as far as lectures go. But what has happened is a lot of running around the city to and from my car to lectures back to the car to move it again so I don’t get a ticket (Still managed to get one this year as I paid for parking then put the wrong ticket in the window….) great way to get fit but a giant waste of time so looking into faster ways to get to and from the car.

Oh as if I am not busy enough at the moment I am also saving for my wedding to my fiancé of two years who I met in my first year of university (Rees halls, for anyone feeling particularly nosey.) And I am back and forth with a solicitor working on my hopefully not too far away new company (its super-secret for now so shhhh!) So will it all work out or will I be overloaded and burn out?

Oh and I bought a drone, a big one to go out and about and take some pics from the sky so I may share some of them if any of them are interesting.

Honestly I don’t know so if you stick about you will find out with me.

I think I am done boring you to death for now if you have read this far thank you, and if you are a final year undergrad stressing…. Don’t, if you do your work it’s a breeze, a slow one granted but a breeze none the less

See you next time

Jackdrone

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