Hey everyone! I am back after a very long summer to start my final year at University – Scary stuff right?! All summer my final year has been this fairly abstract thing in my head that would come around at some point and I would easily deal with it and now it’s hear the pressure is really on and it is time to take my A game. I have to admit I freaked out last week – when I realised just how much work is involved and how tight all the deadlines are it made me panic, not because I can’t do it but because after five months of not studying and away from Uni it became easy to put it all to the back of my mind, and to go back and have it all put to you in such real and matter of fact ways it is overwhelming, I am sure there are many of you in the exact same boat as me!

So I decided to make a plan – a list – organise myself – it’s important at this stage of the game to take charge of your timetable before it takes charge of you. So i have made myself a study plan for each week – broken down subjects and library time into manageable chunks focussing on a different topic each time with just a small amount of work for each section that i need to do, then it makes it seem much less overwhelming and won’t let the work build up into one huge pile that will just cause unnecessary stress later on!

It’s a scary thing being in final year, when i started uni i thought it would never end, my final year seemed so far away that I didn’t think i needed to think about what i would do afterwards and now it is a matter of months away. I have up and down days where i wish i could turn back the clock and do it all over again.

My life has changed so much in the last year that it is almost unrecognisable to last summer, which can at times freak me out and get me a bit down because i don’t really deal very well with change, i tend to panic and find it easier to hide from it and deal with it, what i have realised is something is only new until you have done it once, once its been done, its not new anymore and then significantly less scary, like at the moment I am going to be starting a new job, a new volunteer programme, a new module with a new tutor i have never had before and thinking about what i am going to do when i finish uni, it would be so easy for me to hide under the covers and pretend it all wasn’t happening but, I can’t do that. Sadly, this is life, and instead of being afraid of it, and worrying i have decided to embrace it, it’s actually really exciting, all the new things that are happening, new people i am meeting and opportunities it is opening up, I have faced far scarier things then this in the past! What I am trying to say is, that if, like me, you are facing some new challenges this semester or year, something you are unfamiliar with that seems a bit too much, to big of a change, or you are worrying you can’t do it, then try and adjust your attitude towards it, it takes work to do this but taking charge of your attitude and how you react to change is arguably the most important thing, instead of instantly reacting negatively thinking it is going to be awful, or too hard, or it isn’t for you, change your mind round to the idea that this is a new positive challenge for you, look how far you have come already, you wouldn’t have this new opportunity in the first place if someone didn’t believe in you enough to give you the chance in the first place! It is also getting the time of year when I usually start to get a little more down because of the change in weather and the evenings getting darker much earlier, i have found the best way to combat this problem is by making sure i get out for a nice walk every day for about half an hour if possible, put some music on my headphones and just switch off for a while in the middle of the day when its brightest, this does make a massive difference, also don’t sleep in too much this time of year because you need to make the most of the daylight if you do suffer with this problem like me, there is nothing worse than waking up late and a few hours later its dark again!

It usually is a hectic time of year for everyone with new houses, new courses, new tutors jobs, friends, placements etc, but it should also be a really exciting time and something to be enjoyed and cherished.

I really hope everyone is doing really great and making positive steps to ensure a brilliant year ahead at Uni personally and work wise! I hope that my blogs over the next year will help some of you tackle the issues and troubles that come with being a full time student and I hope I can draw on some of my own experiences in a positive way to help some of you feel better about yourselves and your workloads etc.

Take care



Izzy :o)