Week 5 – Jenni Hanford

Week 5 has arrived and I have no idea how we got here so quickly !! It’s now halfway through the term and things are getting serious; tests, coursework’s, stress, tiredness, it can all be a bit much sometimes. The important thing to remember is you’ve already done 50%, so you’ve just got to carry on doing what you’ve been doing, often things aren’t as bad as they seem. If you try and keep on top of things as much as possible, it will be a lot easier on you and your workload.

So this week was my dissertation deadline and I’m pleased to say I was ready in time (yay!) and it wasn’t as bad as I initially thought. Don’t get me wrong, it was tough and a massive personal challenge, but it was extremely rewarding when I finally dropped it into the coursework box. Producing such a mammoth piece of work felt amazing and showed me how much I have actually grown whilst at university. I’d never have been able to produce what I did in first year and that’s the point here; you aren’t expected to know/ be able to do everything in your first few weeks at university, it’s all about learning new things every week and bringing them together for your final exams.

Before I came to Lancaster I had many preconceptions of what university life would be like and, for the most part, I was very wrong, some very important aspects never even crossed my mind! It’s very different imaging life away from home and then actually having to live it and it takes a long time to adjust, well it did in my case. Everything, pretty much, results in independence; cooking, cleaning, shopping, studying, washing (my least favourite) and it can become overwhelming. You also have to learn everything at once, the realisation setting in immediately after seeing your parents drive off on moving day/ sitting on that train as it pulls away. I thought it would all become easier after week 1 but it took me until week 6, at least, to feel properly settled and comfortable. However, make the most of it as in next to no time it’ll be the end of the year and you’ll be wishing time travel was a real thing !!

Accounting modules, in my experience, have tests at the end of most terms, which is always a little worrying, no matter how prepared you are. Sometimes people don’t really take notice of these tests but when it comes to the summer exams, they wish they had taken a little more notice. Every percentage counts and if you can go into your final exam with as much as possible from term tests, tutorial attendance, workshop preparation then it gives you a little boost. If you can get a percentage from turning up to tutorials, that can be the difference between a pass and a fail sometimes, or a 2:1 and a 1st and they are easy marks you don’t want to lose !

Often on courses there is a lot of extra reading and I’d be the first to admit that sometimes I don’t feel like I have time to do it. However, when I read the recommended texts, I’ve found it really helps with my courses and fully understanding the different topics. If you don’t have time during the week, take a few hours out of your weekend to read the main course text as it’s worth it and will really help when it come to revision in third term.

Everyone has different learning techniques and I find notes really help me. In my first year I made lots of notes but they didn’t really help me as I was just copying everything out. As I’ve developed my notes have become more concise, covering the main points needed in my revision and leaving out less key phrases. I try to make my notes as useful as I can so that when I come to revise they make sense and were worthwhile completing.

As a final year student I have been looking at my prospects for next year (scary) and it’s actually been really exciting. There are so many things out there and I’m confident that I’ll find something which is perfect for me. I am looking at the moment at doing a postgraduate year abroad and it has motivated me to really push my work to be as good as it can, so I can achieve what I want to in the future. University is tough in many respects but, after my placement year and looking at next year, it really is so worthwhile !!

Thanks for reading,

Jen