Since completing my year-long placement in July, I have gone through a roller-coaster of emotions with regards to returning for my final year. In July, I was more interested in enjoying my summer. Seeing some of my friends’ graduation pictures did make me look forward to mine but just a little bit. In August, I was looking forward to my parents’ visit and now, having seen my timetable I am both anxious and excited. Anxious is winning.
Regardless, there a couple of things I’ll be doing or have done to ease myself back into university life. The first is creating a routine. I was anticipating the release of my timetable specifically because of this and now, I am planning my schedule for each day of the work week so that I can fit work and everything else around my studies. I’m trying to avoid falling into the habit of waking up 1 hour before my first lecture of the day and going right back to bed when I’m done with lectures for the day. No judgement here if that is your style but I’ve been there and it didn’t work out great for me. If like me, having your days planned out in advance is how you get the best out of yourself, it is worth attending the 301’s Managing Your Time and Avoiding Distractions workshop.
The second thing I will be doing is making use of all the free resources around, as and when I need it. This could take the shape of attending the Consultation and Feedback hours that lecturers provide, using online materials provided by the University Library to refresh my memory on Harvard referencing or booking an appointment to see a Careers Service adviser with my CV via Career Connect. These resources are for us students so why not use them, huh?
While it doesn’t exactly help with my university life, the third thing I plan to do is keep my work connections alive. Of course, this is easier said than done but after getting a university degree (or more than one), the plan for most of us is to secure a job. So, it would follow that having done a placement or some work experience over the summer, keeping in touch with the people you worked with it is a smart thing to do. Not just because you want them to give you a job, but so that you can continue to gain insight into the industry and hopefully have an experienced professional willing to review your CV when you are applying for internships or graduate jobs.
Placement or not, I am sure some of these will be useful to you all as well. If you are new to the University of Sheffield, welcome! I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time here!