Michaelmas Term – Jenni Hanford

Michaelmas term is now well under way and I’m starting to feel a little snowed under. It’s always a shock to the system, coming back from a nice long summer and then feeling already behind by week 1! It feels like there is always something you could/should be doing and it can often feel like too much, but everyone is feeling the same. It’s important to remember you’re not alone and everyone will be feeling similar stresses and pressures, they just might be better at not showing it. If you ever feel like everything is too much, it’s essential you talk to someone whether it is friends/flatmates/family/academic supervisor; the important thing is you tell someone, a problem shared is a problem halved!

The year has only just started, but if you get organised now, it’ll make the rest of the year a lot easier. I always find myself procrastinating if I have something difficult to do/lots I need to sort, therefore I now make a schedule of what I’m going to do and when. Something may seem really daunting, but once you face it and break it down, it becomes a lot more manageable. I make a schedule including seminars and lectures, adding the extra study I need to do but also including time to relax and to attend various societies. It’s vital that you schedule time to take a break/do things you enjoy as that balance will improve your studies and university experience.

This year, as it’s my last, I’ve decided to join some new societies, so I’ve joined the culture society and I’m learning Mandarin. This may seem like I’m adding more work to my already busy schedule, but I love it! It’s so great as it’s not just about learning new words, it’s experiencing a new culture and meeting new people. That’s a great thing about societies, you can develop and learn skills essential for obtaining a job when you leave university and often you don’t even realise.

As a fourth year, I spend a lot of my time in the library and I think the refurbishment is amazing. There are so many more places to study and I really like the variety of single booths, desks and group study spaces. I also like the open feeling of the library and it’s a lot comfier, making studying a lot easier.

At the moment I am writing my dissertation, which I’m finding very challenging, as writing approx. 10,000 words is something I’ve never had to do before, as is the case for most people’s dissertations! I found the hardest thing was where to start, when you’re faced with such a huge amount to write, it’s very difficult to write those first few words. An important thing to get right is your proposal, if it outlines your thinking clearly and what you’d like to do, you’ll be starting from a strong place, which really helps the development of the rest of the dissertation. It’s also critical to write your dissertation on something you enjoy as you will be researching it in great detail and writing about it for a long time, so if you aren’t all that interested in it, you certainly won’t be 10,000+ words later.

I have found, naturally, over the 3 years at Lancaster that some modules are more difficult than others. This is sometimes due to the nature of the subject or can be based on your own skill set. The problem I have found is finding a balance between the amounts of work I do for difficult modules compared with those which seem ‘easier’. This can be quite a dangerous thing, as I often find myself spending all my time on one module and the others fall behind and, whilst they seem okay at the moment, when you come back to them at a later date, they are then much harder and you are constantly trying to catch up, which isn’t a fun situation to be in! To combat this it’s very important to be strict on time spent on each module. If something’s really tricky then obviously spend more time on it, but not to the detriment of all your other modules as they are all equal usually in terms of your final degree classification.

That’s all for this week, hope you are having a good start to the year and are enjoying this blog.

Thanks, Jen.

New Accounting & Finance UG blog – Jenni Hanford

So another term has started at Lancaster University and it feels like I’ve never been away. After doing a placement year I was worried about settling in and, despite a few changes, everything seems the same, except it’s not. I’m now a fourth year and everything is that little bit harder. Juggling dissertation work, new modules, new societies and everything else that comes with university life, but that’s one of the things I love most about Lancaster, there’s always something to do.

I’m an accounting and finance student from Pendle college and I completed my placement year with EY. I had an amazing time in the past year but I’m loving being back at Lancaster. Last week was Fresher’s week so I attended the many different fairs and welcome talks Lancaster Uni has to offer. This reminded me of the many different fun and exciting things you can do here at Lancaster University, from sky diving to art club, there’s something for everyone.  I myself am the president of Lancaster University Gospel choir so I was able to meet lots of new people as well as signing up to a few new societies myself; it’s never too late to learn something new.

During this term I will be finishing off my Lancaster award. The Lancaster award is an amazing opportunity for everyone at the university and I recommend it to all students. During my time at university I have gained many skills, experience and improved my confidence whilst completing activities for the award. There are different sections in the Lancaster award, each one targeting a specific area and allowing you to enhance who you can become whilst at university. There is the skills bank, which helps to identify all the new skills you have learnt, whilst at university, completing different activities, the work experience section, which encourages you to gain the necessary experience for future CV’s/job applications and then the various different talks and sessions you can attend, which give advice on a range of different aspects in your life/career. It’s amazing what the award can do for you and the confidence it can instil.

We are now into week one and lectures have started. I have a serious case of Fresher’s flu, which is never ideal but unavoidable it seems after 3 years. It’s always hard I find, when lectures start to have the motivation you need to complete weekly tutorials/seminars and make sure you attend all those 9am starts, but it’s really important. Going into fourth year I know now how important it is to make a motivated and strong start to a university year, summer term isn’t that far away! If you start as you mean to go along, the work will be so much easier and you’ll get it done a lot faster than if you leave it all to the last minute. Also, make use of your tutor’s and lecturer’s office hours, they’re there to help and if you understand it now it’ll make revision in a few months a lot easier and definitely reduce stress and panic levels. However, with the inevitable work that comes with University life, it’s essential you do fun things on a evening/weekend and there’s so much to do here, you’ll never be left with nothing to do!

Joining a society is really important at University, it doesn’t matter what you do just that you’re out doing something. The friends you make at societies will be some of the best friends you make at university! If your studies are hard and you’ve got a lot to do, it makes the day so much better if you know there’s something at the end of it that you really enjoy, can escape from any stress you’re feeling and just have a really good time. Often being part of a team or club improves your studies as you feel much happier and are able to balance your work and social life.

Being an accounting and finance student, I spend a fair amount of time in the management school. I find it a great space to work as, not only is there likely to be someone around who can help with any tricky questions, there are many different spaces to work which offer different things. There is the open space when you enter from the spine, with larger tables offering a great area for group work, then in the centre there are desks where’s there’s room a few people who can work together, giving a nice relaxed feel whilst studying. There is also the hub, which is great as you can have a chat with friends whilst enjoying a nice coffee!

I really love it here at Lancaster University, I enjoy my course and I also really like all the extra things the university has to offer. I’ll be updating my blog regularly so please check back to here about how my year is going, any challenges I face and how I overcome them and hopefully a lot of good things happening too!

Thanks for reading, Jenni.