Rosemary Blog 3

Wednesday August 1st 2012

Finally it’s that time again. Summer! Results are in and all exams have been passed so it’s time to relax and enjoy being free once again. My first year of university certainly did fly in. It feels like just yesterday that I received my school-leaver’s hoody and was waving goodbye to all my teachers. It’s true what they say that so much can change within a year.

The move from school to university is probably one of the greatest changes one goes through. Being at university means being very independent, both in terms of working and living. At times this is something I found difficult. It is hard not to slip into the old ‘leave it all until exam time and then cram’ mentality, which so often worked at school. However, at university this method doesn’t tend to be quite so successful. In lectures you only get an overview of each topic and so it’s important to add to this and prepare notes as you go along, something I’ll strive to do more of next year. It’s definitely important to find the correct balance between socialising with friends and achieving what you set out to do at university; which is achieving a decent degree. It’s important not to get into early bad habits. Once you let yourself away with missing one 9am lecture, the temptation grows only greater the next week, especially when the weather’s looking grim and uninviting.

It’s a big change being home seven days a week now after spending the past academic year inBelfast. One aspect of being a student which I greatly miss now that I’m home is all the choice of places to go out to inBelfast.Belfastis a very student-orientated city and thus there are many student nights-out arranged, with fancy dress themes for example, and, of course, with guest celebrities from ‘Made inChelsea’ and ‘Geordie Shore’.

I would certainly recommend living in halls for your first year. When it comes to going out at home, I’m guilty of going out with the same group of people each time.  However, when you’re staying in halls you never know who you’ll be going out with or where you’ll all be meeting up beforehand. This is a great way to meet new people and it adds to the buzz of a night out. I think it is most important of all to maintain a strong sense of who you are when you are at university. It’s easy to get caught up in drinking and endless nights out but it’s essential not to lose yourself in all of that. My faith is a very important aspect of my life and I’ve kept this alive at university. There are as many faith related opportunities at Queen’s as there are opportunities to go out. There’s the ‘Christian Union’ which runs on a weekly basis in the Student Union. There is also the Catholic Chaplaincy, which is only minutes from the Student Union and holds a range of prayer and spiritual development programmes.

Reflecting on my first year of university there is much that I’ve enjoyed, some things I’d like to improve upon and many more things that I look forward to next year. Roll on September, with the move into a new flat (raiding the food cupboards at home before I go), many new experiences and good friends, old and new.