Although I am going into my third week of semester 2, I thought it would be fun to reflect on my first semester at university.
I am currently studying criminology at Keele university. I have already spent two years at Keele when I almost completed my first year back in 2014/15 but took a leave of absence. I came back into university in 2016 but had to take a foundation year in order to progress back onto year 1.
Keele was one of my top choicest for university when I started looking to apply via UCAS and the reasons why it stood out to me was because; Matthew lived close by and it reminded me of home. I will probably go into more depth about my original first year and foundation year experience in another blog post as it taught me a lot.
One of my favourite parts of going back into study after a break is preparing my desk. I have an unhealthy obsession with stationary and every summer is another excuse to buy more. In the middle picture there is actually a tub filled with pens, pencils, sellotape etc. yano in case I run out (ha). I love my study area because everything is organised to my liking and I know that space is mine, despite it being in the reception room. But I love studying whilst Matthew is next door watching TV – makes me feel relaxed and actually gets me to concentrate more.
Welcome to Keele:
As mentioned above, Keele reminds me of Cornwall. It is so scenic, isolated and just darn beautiful.
I was in university when the red sun was in full view due to storm Ophelia; I love how I managed to capture it perfectly above the library clock tower.
Criminology was the degree I chose to study because I loved law and sociology during a-level – so I thought what degree could I study that combined a bit of both? I am unsure what I want to do after I graduate (still got 2-3 years to decide yet) but I am interested in the mental health related sides to crime and criminal processes.
If you are unfamiliar with university level then during the course of a semester you study 4 modules: 1 core, 1 optional and two electives. These are the modules I did:
- Understanding Crime (CORE)
- Psychology & Crime (OPTIONAL)
- An Introduction to Counselling Theories (ELECTIVE)
- Social Inequalities in the Contemporary World (ELECTIVE)
I have already done the understanding crime and psychology & crime module back in 2014 so I was determined to get better grades than last time (so far I have yay!). The other two electives were based purely on the content of the course as well as the way they would be marked. I do not do well in exams and if there is a module that I know I will enjoy which does not feature exams than SIGN ME UP.
Freshers and Society Fair:
I went to the freshers & society fair which is held in the first week at the students union. The best part? FREEBIES. Now if you haven’t already gathered by my previous Instagram posts, but I love a bargain. And if it is free? Best.Day.Ever. The things I got were a Domino’s tote bag which was filled with a Domino mug, vouchers, sweets, etc. Students were handing out cup a pastas as well as letting everyone know you could get free pizza outside. Also picked up a free rosemary plant which is super cool!
Classes, Studying & Exams:
My classes were pretty spaced out which was nice but also frustrating at the same time, mainly because I live off campus and the buses are never reliable. But those breaks allowed me to get extra work done whilst I was at university. I only had two exams in January which made me extremely happy. However, both were multiple choice exams which is a lot harder than I anticipated. My core module had 18 lectures in total which I had to go through…18 lovely presentation slides & readings to go over to fill 100 questions….
Expectations for Semester 1?
- Get more involved than my previous years
➣ I kind of did… I signed up for a taster session for ballet which was horrific, but at least I tried. I also wanted to sign up for the sign language society but it is held quite late on a weekday which was just inconvenient for me.
- Stay ahead
➣This I managed to do quite effectively. I definitely learnt from my mistakes back in 2014 when I would not do the readings and then forget weeks later what module I was even doing (so irresponsible). So far I managed to do my work a week in advance and I hope to keep it up throughout semester 2 and my next two years.
- Get good grades
➣ So far I am on track with 2:1’s from two modules. I get my exam results on 13th February so I will know then how well I did overall. I know this year doesn’t count towards my final grade but I do set high expectations of myself and would love to keep improving.