By Kiera Thornton
As of the past two weeks I have been rudely plunged back into the academic side of university. This was in the form of a PowerPoint presentation I had to do in one of my tutorials in week three, and, keeping in mind that I as a misanthropic almost-recluse generally dislike doing class presentations, I feel as if I did reasonably okay. I got all the points I wanted to make across in a decently elocuted manner and was not overly intimidated by the crowd, all six or seven people who bothered to show up for the class.
I have noticed that the attendance of some people appears to have suffered this semester, in particular my early morning and late afternoon and evening classes have seen a decline in the amount of students turning up. For me it is ideal since I am in a course which requires me to speak in front of my classmates a lot and the smaller numbers make that slightly easier.
With my first assignment as such out of the way, I have realised how soon my other projects are encroaching on me. A few of my modules have other presentations and group assignments which I anticipate with dread, not to mention that the mid-semester tests I have in certain classes really are not that far away.
While I have been performing well, I could of course be doing a lot more continuous revision than I currently am. Yet I feel like the amount of work I am doing will not change between now and these tests and projects and I am going to end up super stressed out on the evenings before deadlines, just like first semester, and such is the life of a university student.
Another occurrence since I wrote my last installment of the Fresher’s Diary was having to attend a mandatory meeting about my co-operative education next year. If anything, I have been left feeling more unsettled about leaving campus (and probably leaving the country) for work experience in the second semester of second year.
Some prospective employers spoke to us, none of which appeared immediately attractive to spend five months working for, and generally the prospect of leaving behind a university I have just begun to feel very familiar with and at home in for a semester, plus another in third year for Erasmus, is actually beginning to sound like an extremely daunting prospect. It is confusing, considering I previously highly anticipated going abroad as a part of my degree.
I feel like it would be very tempting if I were able to simply freeze this moment in my life and carry on living in it again and again, yet of course I know that at some stage I have to graduate and leave this behind and in a way it is sort of sad. Not to mention that both work experience and Erasmus are said to be ultimately positive and productive programs to take part in that make students well-equipped for the future, so I feel that the pros most certainly outweigh the cons.
Perhaps you could say I am thinking way too far into the future as I still have two semesters left on campus before I have to leave for work experience. I also have plenty to keep me occupied in the meantime. Alongside my academic work, I am now on the committee of a society, co-presenting on a ULFM show (Fridays 12pm-2pm, everyone!) and writing for An Focal, so I am fulfilling my pledge to be more active this semester. Hopefully my grades will not slip as a result!
One thing I need to work on is getting more rest since my sleeping patterns have become rather all over the place recently and the sleep deprivation I am experiencing is having a negative effect on my ability to concentrate in classes and on my assignments. Unrelated to academia, it would help my quality of life in general if I learned to spend money more wisely, as my foolish spending has left me with roughly €15 to live on for the week ahead at the time of writing. No excuse, it is truly an awful reflection on my budgeting capabilities.
By the time you are reading this, it will have been the third issue of An Focal this semester. That means three remain. Be under no illusion that second semester is flying so far and we will be knee-deep in exam season before we know where we are. This has been your update from your intrepid fresher representative.