Christmas has been and gone (and it certainly feels as though it’s been gone for quite a while now!) and I’m back at university, having survived the first lot of exams and manic coursework deadlines – never thought I’d end up printing programming codes off in the library at midnight! My first term’s results aren’t back yet, but I’m feeling fairly confident about most of the modules even if I think I only just passed Calculus and Geometry. It was certainly nice to have some time off at home for Christmas, but I’ve realised it’s definitely not the right place for me to be working; fortunately I managed to crank out the 2000 word essay for Barrie during a day in my last week of holiday, but it was nigh-on impossible to do anything resembling revision while I was there due to it just not being the right atmosphere to work in at all. I think I need to bear that in mind when booking train tickets home at Easter (which have not gone up by just 5% Mr Cameron, £50 to £81 is a hell of a lot more percent than that!) as although four weeks off will be nice, eight hours worth of exam won’t be revised for very well if I spend all that time sat on the sofa being distracted by live television and the cat.
A new term means a new set of modules and so far the majority of them have been fairly interesting, with varying levels of lecture quality (all I can say is that I’m grateful for ELE – our intranet containing all of the lecture slides). The difference between last term and now is that last term only two of the modules could be considered as “core” modules, as the other two were more practical based and less traditionally mathematical. However, this term all four involve endless writing up of lecture notes and doing example sheets (2/3 of which for each module are to be assessed as part of our module grade). I’m not saying that this is an unfair amount of work, because this is a degree and it shouldn’t be easy. It’s just noticeable that even going from the first to the second term the workload is greater and the pressure is higher. I had a brainwave a little while ago wondering how many hours a week I actually spend working, including both contact hours and independent study. So I thought I’d do a little experiment next week and record how long I actually spend with the stopwatch on my phone, so watch this space for results! (If it’s less than 17 hours then something has seriously gone wrong, either that or I’ve skipped a few too many lectures…)
I’ll now leave you with a doodle my friend Olivia did while getting exasperated about the number of proofs we have to learn!