One Down, Three to Go.

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Hello, hello, hello!

Sorry for wandering off for a few days, I’ve been up to my ears in assignments as well as acquiring a particularly nasty chest infection too. This week has been big in terms of third year, I had my final lecture on Tuesday, have started packing up the flat as we’ve handed our notice in for July and today I finally submitted one of my longer assignments, my piece on autobiographical poetry. I’ll never be a part of my Writing Women class again!!

I’ve been working on it for a pretty long time and, although I have absolutely no idea as to how it’s going to grade (obviously I’m hoping well) I’ve kind of just decided to live with it. I’ve done what I consider my best with the time and the pressures I’ve had. It’s done, gone and submitted and it actually feels like a quarter of the weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Now all I need to do is make sure that my dissertation is ready to be submitted in 10 days and then my other two essays after that. I will say that I think it’s kind of stupid to have all of our essays clumped together. It’s frustrating because we haven’t had the questions for two of them very long and, I suppose I am nervous about writing and finishing them both on time. BUT I am super determined to get it done. I can almost taste the freedom. So close, but so far.

My First Dyslexic Session

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Way back in first year I discovered that I am in fact, dyslexic, and quite seriously so as my educational psychologist report says. There was a lack of tutors for me to start tutoring when I requested it in first year, I then developed the attitude of ‘well I got this far without it so why bother’ partly to hide my feelings. I wasn’t embarrassed to be dyslexic at all, in fact it made my constant troubles with punctuation, grammar and spelling that have lost me so many marks over the years. All in all I just didn’t want another label and have to answer more questions because people didn’t believe me. I love to read, I have done since I was a little girl, people see Dyslexia as not being able to read or write but that’s not what mine is, it has such a broad spectrum! I guess I just didn’t want another label on me.

Fast Forward to a few weeks ago and I was struggling with my course work I didn’t have anyone to have a read over for me or help me understand what was going on with my work on a regular basis. Some friends would help but it wasn’t fair to keep asking when they had their own assignments to do. I decided to try and get the tutoring again, because otherwise my allowance from the DSA was just sitting there not being used. Because it is run by a different company I quickly got a response and was booked in to see a tutor.

I was nervous, I’m really independent when I work so it was something I’d never done before. I shouldn’t have worried, my new tutor is absolutely lovely and respects the achievements and way of working I have. All my sessions will be lead by me and what I want to cover, while my mentor will suggest things that make my life easier in terms of my writing. You never know, the blog might improve too! So, every week I’ll be taking work with me for us to look at and try to make it better, meaning I’ll hopefully get a better grade.

Fingers crossed!

Buried under assignments

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I’m writing this to you from my ‘desk’ that is covered in note pads, glasses, sticky notes, the occasional book (although most of them are in a pile on the floor next to me) and the hard work vibes I seem to be radiating. I’m writing a short post tonight because as you can guess from the title I’ve been working my butt off for the past few days to finish my assignment.

Because of my recent illness, I’ve been told stress is the worst thing for me right now. I actually laughed at the doctor when they said I need to be less stressed, because let’s face it the final part of third year is not a walk in the park BUT on with positivity. I managed to get to the gym this morning and work off some of the stress before having to go to an ultrasound appointment, which came back CLEAR! Yippie! Between and after I’ve been glued to my desk working on a 6000 word assignment, although the good news is that after writing it on and off since Saturday I am now sitting at 3740 words, so close!

Tomorrow will be for working on my dissertation which isn’t in as good a shape as I thought it was and needs a LOT of work doing to it before submission next week. I’m trying not to get stressed about it and instead working on just getting as much done as I can and taking regular breaks. That said, I currently cannot stand my dissertation, but I’m told this is a normal part of third year. Hopefully I can get at least 2 essays close to being done when I come back from Easter break and then only have 2 others to focus on. Definitely looking forward to 11.01 on the 2nd of May when all my assignments are submitted.

So that’s a little insight into my frazzled mind at the moment and my slightly frazzled life, now excuse me while I finally get to cuddle my hamsters before passing out in bed.

My Last Reading Week!

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Today marks the start of the last Reading Week (although now they call it Enrichment Week) I will have. Of course I’ll still have them while I’m a postgrad but I won’t have the free time I do now, because I’ll be working a full time job too. Dun, dun, duuuuuuuuuun. Now I’m in my third year I don’t have a choice but to use this week to get organised, productive and tick things off of my ever growing to do list. That said, I’m not allowed to go mad this week because of my recent diagnosis as well as having to deal with some spine pain.

It’s going to be good for me to have a week to go at things my own pace, do some things I enjoy and go and see my family at the end of it. I’ve already got more done over the weekend than I planned, simply because I was relaxed and just spent some time with myself, thinking about what I want and how I’m going to go about it. Being me, of course I have a to do list of all the things I want to do this week, which is mostly assignments I need to get cracking on or stuff I need to do around the house. I guess I really want to also take the time to take care of myself and make things easier in the long run. The more I get done this week, the less I have to worry about later on.

Of course, there might be some non course reading involved this week too…

What’s daylight again??

Normally one of my top tips for anyone doing revision/exams is to hae a break every now and again, maybe go outside and get some fresh air. Ali and I have definitely broken that this weekend, after getting to his flat over 24 hours ago we haven’t left. If we’ve left the room it’s been to go to the kitchen although we’re not cooking tonight, chicken it is! Why you may ask? This is what happens when you get stuck on assignments over Easter, while I have a few more days to work on my final Debates in Literature essay Ali has until Monday…

Fear not! I’m encouraging him and he’s working hard on the assignment and believe me this one is a doozy! 3000 words, I looked at the title and gave a wimper myself. All my friends on the music tech course seem to be feeling the same and it wouldn’t surprise me if the library stayed very full until that 11am deadline on Monday. So now I have to leave you all and get on before dinner arrives, wish us luck and hopefully we may see that thing they call the sun again at some point!

5 ways to procrastinate

As you can all guess by this post my day wasn’t as productive as I wanted to be. According to some of my lecturers this is an inevitable part of writing. So here are five things you can ‘get on with’ while that essay is waiting.

The television is now your best friend 

When else can you catch up on all 10 seasons of Friends? 

Go to the pub 

A few beers will DEFINITELY get those creative ideas flowing…  

Worry about said assignment while not actually doing it 

How will I pass? I’m never going to get this done? Why are there no words? WHERE DID MY BRAIN GO

Cook more than you need 

Because food might just give you the energy to carry on…. 

When nothing else is quite working you can always Snapchat everyone you know… 

Now you’ve finished reading this you should probably go start that assignment, good luck! 

Tick Tock, Tick Tock

Look around any lecture halls right now and you will see the anxious faces of students when the lecturers start talking about assignments. Uh-oh we need to do actual work now, that might be a problem. I was lucky enough to have all my deadlines in the same week of term oh and one due in on the last day before break…score! 

I don’t want to write a magical post about how calm and relaxed I am because I’m just as stressed as everyone else right now! I think I’m going to end up dreaming about Queer Theory and referencing tonight seeing as I’ve spent almost 4 hours on this assignment. You see I don’t buy into this whole thing that ‘first year doesn’t count’. I am paying £9000 a year for this course, EVERYTHING counts. So while others are currently getting drunk outside my building I am sitting here trying to work out where this damn book was published and thinking about monologues. To put it bluntly this degree better get me a decent job because I can see lots of these long nights stretching out ahead of me for the next three years.

After a hellish day yesterday, I have managed to cheer myself up. Ali and I will be meeting one of our influences in  February and eating pizza with them, as you do. We also have Don Broco on Saturday as the tickets FINALLY arrived! 

Now I’m going to go and try and wake myself with a shower and read through this all again before tomorrow morning! 

5 ways to make sure you are on top of your deadlines

The time of year is rolling around that has students stressed, tired and caffine addicted. Just as some mothers will be making ruthless trips to Toys ‘R’ Us and hasty calls to Santa when toys arn’t in stock, students will be taking their frustratoins out on the uni/college library and that can of redbull (I am one of the lucky ones who has red bull sold in the library..score!). One thing is for certain, both of them want the run up to Christmas to slow the hell down. December/Janurary marks the first set of deadlines for me and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t strressed about one particular module, the key thing is I still have time.

This is where my total pain in the arse organizational skills come in handy, I’ve been reading these lists for a few weeks. I’ve tried to memorise when work is due in so that I’m not caught off guard. Luckily my module guides have been handy and I’ve also picked up some tips along the way.

1. Know when your work needs to be handed in

I think the absolute worst thing is having no idea when everything has to be done by, it can mess with your grade at the end. Now all of my deadlines are pretty close together at the moment, in fact I’ve just written them all out to see how much space I have between each. The whole point of knowing these isn’t so you can stress out for months on end, it’s so you can fit things in. Just make a note of big deadlines in a diary or notebook (believe me I am religiously obsessed with noting things down in my academic diary!)

2. Plan when you are going to do things

As I hinted at above I like to plan when I am going to do things. Not everyone works well with pressure, so why not write a to-do list. I find these help more as I can put things in order of what needs to be done and I feel satisfied when I tick it off at the end of the day. I also do a rough plan of when in the week I need to do things and what I have on that week, I’m not goign to lie and say that this can be concrete because things change but a rough guideline can make a world of difference.

3. If you are unclear on what to do ASK!

I think I drive my tutors mad with questions but apparently they think it’sa better idea than getting stuck. Tutors will be much more willing to help you two weeks before the deadline NOT two days. It’s a good idea just to get clarification if your unsure of what it is you need to do.

4.PRIORITISE

This is something I struggle with sometimes, I know that I have to get my Creative writign work done but it doesn’t mean I don’t try and skip. Try and stick to what is due in soonest not what you want to do first. It works both ways though don’t try to get ahead so much that you forget what you have to do for a particular week. Also consider going out, it is still important you know…

5.Make sure you have time for work and play

Which leads me to my last point. It’s all well and good to work hard and get a good grade but you need to have some fun. Fun for you  might be going to Hippodrome and getting so drunk you forget about that assignment until tomorrow or it might be reading a book. Basically whatever you do to relax/have fun make sure you do this too because otherwise you’ll wonder why the hell you’re here.