Reflecting on Semester 1

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. 

Preparation:

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.

Modules:

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:

  1. Understanding Crime (CORE)
  2. Psychology & Crime (OPTIONAL)
  3. An Introduction to Counselling Theories (ELECTIVE)
  4. 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?

  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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 

That is my overall experience from semester 1 at university & I hope you enjoyed reading about it. 
If any of you are studying at college or university then please comment below or get in touch via my social media to share your experience. I would love to hear them all! 

Paige .-.

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Comments

  1. bingingonabudget
    02/27/2018 / 00:03

    I really liked this post and can tell you have some great organization. What are some of your best tips for staying organized?

    • 02/27/2018 / 13:07

      Aw thank you! I tend to spend the weekends getting organised for the next week but this is what I do for university & at home:

      1. University; keeping a week ahead if possible, getting readings done, prepping for tutorial work as soon as its set etc.

      2. Day to day life; keeping a journal to write down what I have achieved throughout the day, to do lists, keeping stuff up on the fridge…

      Hope that helps!

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