Wednesday, 24 April 2013

University 2nd Year Review

Hi everyone! So I haven’t written a blog post for a while, either here or on my other blog. I haven’t done much of anything else for a while actually because I’ve been busy getting assignments ready to be handed in. By this point, I am mostly free for the summer. Classes finished last week and most of my assignments were given in on Monday. There is one left but the deadline isn’t until Tuesday and it’s very close to being completed so I decided to take a couple of days off to relax. I’ve decided that I’m close enough to being done that I can do my review of the year, my classes and whether I did any of the things I said I would, as well as look at what might be happening next year. I’ve divided it into categories to make it easier.


Well, my life outside of university work has been a bit hit and miss this year. For the first semester things were looking pretty bad. I didn’t have a lot of money to live on, ending up on one meal a day and having to hand wash clothes (the latter I kept because I don’t want to spend £6 a week on the washing machines here). To make matters worse I had serious problems with my flatmates at the time that ended up with me basically being scared to leave my bedroom. I won’t go into more detail on that right now. Also due to the lack of money I wasn’t able to visit home often. I believe I was only able to do it once before Christmas, that time being Expo. Going to Anime Society at uni and thinking about being at Expo with my friends was what got me through that time. What actually ended those problems was when a new problem occurred that I had to complain to management about. They offered me the opportunity to move to another flat in the building at no extra cost. I think I may have mentioned that part in a previous post actually.

Anyway, the flat I’m in now is the same one I lived in during first year, just in a different room. It also has basically the same layout as the room I was in last semester so there wasn’t much of a change to adjust to. I like the flatmates I have here. We’re not really friends (I don’t mean that in a negative way) but we talk sometimes and it’s nice. There have been some small problems but nothing really troubling and always resolved. I’m not complaining about that, you’ll have problems with anyone you live with for a long period of time; it’s not a bad thing as long as you handle the situation properly. It’s been fun living here.
This semester’s gotten a lot better as well because I’ve been able to afford everything I need and even get a treat once in a while. I’ve also had enough to fund my cosplay hobby and I’ve been getting really excited working on projects as well as planning to redecorate my room. Unfortunately due to uni work I’ve had to miss a few Anime Society meetings but I’m determined to make more of them next year.


I’ve had a lot of fun with my classes this year. Some of them have been hard work, some not so much. In a lot of cases it’s not that the work is hard, just that there’s a lot to be done and it takes a while. As I did last year, here’s a little review of each class I did:

Prose Fiction Workshop: Rhetoric and Reflection – This was a fun one. I’ll probably end up saying that about all of them. It started with a lecture each week that was simple enough to follow. Following the lectures we’d have workshops, this is all pretty standard, but it was great. The tutor we had for the workshops was amazing and so was the group really. Everyone was really easy to talk to and it was nice being able to get feedback and give it on each other’s work.

Screen Story: Structure and Short Film Writing – This one went pretty much the same way as the above though to be honest I preferred doing prose. That’s not to say the things we did and the teachers we had here weren’t great, I just never felt I could be as open there as I did in prose, I’m not totally sure why that is myself. We got to watch a lot of films in class though, including a couple I just love.

Independent Study In Creative Writing – I’ve had a love/hate relationship with this one. I loved the idea of it because it meant being able to do everything myself completely alone (unless I needed help of course) and doing whatever I wanted. I decided to do a comic. This is one of those cases I was talking about where the work isn’t necessarily hard, it just takes forever. I underestimated just how long it would take to colour each page. This is why my last weekend before the deadline was nothing but finishing this monster off.

Approaching Your Novel – Another great module that went fairly the same way as prose. Good lectures, great workshops, good communication with others in the group. I got to write the first chapter of the novel I’ve been planning for the last two years. In all honesty, I still think it needs work, but I’m sure I’ve done enough to get a good grade for now. There was also one book we all had to read and I’m so glad this module introduced me to it because it was amazing.

Fantastic Worlds – This was by far my favourite module of the year. As you may have guessed from the title it’s all about world building! I’m not sure if it counts as lecture and workshops or just one because unlike other classes we only had one guy running it so we weren’t moving around and being split into different rooms. It was all about fantasy, sci-fi, alternate history, that kind of stuff, all of which are things I love, so I was right at home. The guy who ran the module was awesome the way he talked about it. He’s the kind of person who can talk for ages on the topic of the day but does it in such a way that it never gets boring and you love hearing it. The work we did in and out of class was so much fun too, even the research homework. For the assignments I used the same world from my novel, the one I also used in AYN, I love how you can do the same thing in different classes like that. I mean, you can’t hand in the exact same piece of work, but doing it like this made it a lot easier too. I think what I did in each class improved my work in the other too.

2nd Year Resolutions – Success?

So at the end of first year I made some ‘Academic New Year’s Resolutions’ and I figured I should come back and see which I succeeded in and which I failed.

Work harder. – That one definitely is true. My grades have gotten better too, I found out for sure a couple of days ago. My GPA for first year was 56, for this year it’s 68. That’s two points away from top marks, and that’s without factoring in the assignments that haven’t been marked yet (let’s hope they don’t take it down). Either way, when you consider this, consider the difference made in one year and how determined I am to do well, I should be doing pretty well next year.
Don’t miss a day of class. – I think I missed just one. Close enough I don’t feel bad about it.
Be more social. – I wouldn’t say I made more friends but I definitely was able to talk a lot more to more people and it all went pretty well.
Get fitter. – The goal that appeared on everything even though it’s not really academic. Progression has been slow with this one but I’m pretty sure there has been progress.
Improve drawing and writing skills. – Check and check, I didn’t really have a choice there. Both still need work, especially the former.
Win a competition. – Not yet, entered a few though.

So all in all I’ve done pretty well. May not have done everything I wanted to within each goal but certainly enough to consider most of them a success.

Well, this post has gotten pretty long now so I think I may do as I did last time, leave it here and put my plans for 3rd year in a different post.

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