I honestly can’t believe I head back up to York this weekend. Somehow it’s been nearly six weeks since I had any classes, and almost four since I came home, but the time has absolutely flown. I’ve had a really wonderful time back home with my family, friends and G, but I’m also ready to head back into the madness of uni life. Spring term of second year holds all sorts of promises and plans; in fact it’s kind of a big deal. During this term I’ll reach the halfway point of my degree and start planning my final year dissertation. Here’s a rundown of what the next ten weeks hold, and what I hope to achieve over their course.
Spring term in numbers
64 contact hours
8 post-war Italian films to watch
3 newspaper editions to put together
2 new modules to study
1 3,000-word essay to write
Modules this term
I’m studying three modules this term: Critical Questions, The Romantic Period 1775-1832, and Post-War Italian Cinema. Critical Questions is a theory-based module; it involves a workshop every other week and a lot of theoretical reading, so can be quite dry and difficult to get stuck into. Some of it is really interesting though, and during this term I have to give a group presentation on an assigned topic ahead of our closed-book exam in summer term.
The latter two modules are both new to me this term, and both are fairly self-explanatory. The Romantic Period focuses mainly on the work of poets like Wordsworth, Blake, and Keats, though also includes Frankenstein which I’m excited to finally read. The Italian Cinema module meanwhile is part of the University’s initiative which requires every single-honours English Literature student to take a foreign language module, in which we study foreign texts partly in their original language. I’m super excited for this one as I’ve always been interested in film but never had the change to study it properly, and I’m hoping that my Italian improves to the point that I feel sufficiently confident. (It will have to, as in summer term I’ve a three-hour written language exam!)
Goals for spring term
Get into routines. If you saw my Goals for Growth post you’ll already know this is important for me this year. I’ve got a good uni morning routine that I’m looking forward to getting back into, but I really want to sort out my evenings to set me up better for the following day.
Studying comes first. In first year when your grades don’t count towards your degree it’s easy to not worry too much about attainment, but I’ve always cared about doing well. However, it’s so easy for things like the newspaper to get in the way, and in the past I’ve lost sight of what I’m really at uni to do: get a good degree. I really care about my subject and doing well, and I need to learn to put it before everything else – except my health.
Save money. I’m desperate to put aside some money each month. I’ve now got a job as a Student Ambassador which will hopefully help me towards this goal, but I really do need to start watching how I spend so I can save as much as possible for any potential future trips or plans.
Document as much as possible. I said before third term last year that I wanted to write a diary entry every single day. In the end, my mental health was so bad that I didn’t write a single one. That’s okay – those entries would have been pretty hard to look back on – but I’m so happy at uni now that I don’t want to forget anything. I really want to document as much as I possibly can, whether through social media, photographs or journaling so I can hold on to all the brilliant moments uni provides.
Focus on stability. As I completed my year in review post I realised that the place I’d reached by the end of last year was one of stability. For the first time in so long I no longer felt anxious and insecure about where I was; in fact, I feel like I’m exactly where I need to be. This term I really want to focus on that feeling; on enjoying uni and all the opportunities it brings me before they’re all gone, but also feeling grounded and secure in the place I have made for myself in York.
Are you heading back to school or uni? What are your goals for the upcoming semester? Let me know in the comments!