Harry’s Final Year Blog: My Last Ever Semester

So it’s just turned February and another semester has started, except it’s going to be my last ever. I’m not planning on continuing my studies in any format (except perhaps training for a job), so in a couple of months time I’ll never sit an exam again, so strange to think of! Never again will I revise, academically procrastinate, stare gormlessly at powerpoint slides from lectures I missed after sleeping in, or sit and write by hand for two hours solid! My examination resumé consists of three sets of SATs,  two years of GCSEs (now O-levels redux I understand), two years of A-levels, and three years of university exams, all spanning a decade. In turn, that means that I have spent most of my waking hours preparing for exams since my pre-teen years, so returning to stress-free leisure time could be something to look forward to pending my retirement from studentship, but on the other hand I’ve never worked 64 hour weeks, with the maximum time I’ve spent at school in a week is 30 hours and that being 5 years ago now. However there is a promising outlook for work-life- I recently read an article about research that showed that the best years of people’s lives were actually when they started work and started to move up the career ladder! That rubbishes the traditional view belched out by many a headmaster in school assemblies that your school days are the best years of your life, and then again in 6th form assemblies that university will be the best years of your life!

This semester’s looking to be okay though, my lecture modules are Conservation Biology- concerning the biology behind conservation projects, e.g. population dynamics of endangered species; Madness & Society in the Modern Age- a look at the history and opinions regarding the treatment of the “mad”, however I might drop this as it’s too history-course-esque for my liking (I.e. loads of reading for seminars), and also the Manchester Leadership Programme, where I have to undertake (up to) 60 hours of volunteering, participate in discussion boards and hear from well-regarded ‘leaders’, one year they even had Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United manager) in, so I’m thoroughly looking forward to that (even as a City fan)!

This really is the last kick of the academic marathon though, so slacking in any format is strictly forbidden!

Harry x

Tip of the Week

Don’t turn your nose up at getting into university through clearing! Yes they’re technically the “leftovers” from the hotly competed places, but you can get some real gems. One of my friends is at Swansea University studying theoretical physics, obtained through clearing, which most importantly he’s happy with, and my brother is studying History and Archaeology at the University of Sheffield, a place he obtained through clearing and nearly rashly turned his nose up at (he wanted to do just history)! He’s even got the possibility of switching onto full history next year if he does well enough. Although clearing shouldn’t be relied upon, it’s definitely worth considering!

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