I am now blogging as a second year student. How bizarre. I’m sure this whole year jumped in a blink. The time has flown by, yet the experience I have gained and the amount I have learnt is invaluable. This has by far been the best time of my life (exciting, fun, and utterly challenging). I feel like a different person! Not only because of valuable time spent in seminars and lectures; but through the amazing, heart-warming, emotional, stressful, difficult, absolutely incredible 6 weeks I spent on placement in a beautiful primary school. My year 3 class was full to the brim of fascinating and wonderful children. It was an experience that will stay with me forever. Finally I have discovered my own individual teaching style. And, to top it off, I couldn’t be happier with the grade I received. I worked so hard for 6 weeks and put all my effort into achieving my best and guess what? It paid off.
So, what have I learnt in these 9 first months as a university student?
1) Moving away from home at first is daunting, scary, sad, emotional… then you realise what independence, friendships for life and becoming an adult feel like.
2) There is no better profession in the entire world than teaching. When you feel the warmth of teaching a whole class it becomes obvious. No day is the same, but every day brings smiling and laughter.
3) It is possible, but not advisable, to complete an assignment the night before a deadline. Coffee is fundamental in this equation. (This is a habit I will definitely be extinguishing before my second year begins)
4) Pasta can oh so easily be overeaten. Please please please, no more.
5) Everyone struggles. Whether it’s academically, career-wise, financially or with stress. The trick is to ask for help… it’s right around the corner. At Edge Hill, the Student Information Centre (SIC building) provides a free service and a huge help to all students.
6) Budgeting is so important. This year I learnt the value of money. I will never forget my first food shop – that’s £45 I will never get back. Rest in peace, fivers.
7) Fire alarms are annoying. When one goes off, the whole building has to evacuate. Someone once drunkenly tried to cook gammon at 3 in the morning. Yes. You read correctly. Gammon.
8) Get involved with everything and take any opportunities that fly at you. This year I campaigned to become a student representative, became a student blogger, worked as a student guide and joined societies. They helped me meet so many lovely people and working for the university has made me so proud to study here.
9) It is really important to attend seminars and lectures. Every. Single. One. The amount you learn in one session is huge. Remember, the content isn’t just there to help you pass an assignment. You use what you learn throughout your career.
10) It’s not just all work and no play. In fact, it goes something like play play play work play play work play. I had fun, but learnt to balance my priorities.
So whatever you do in your first year, make it count.