Sunday 14 May 2017

The Truth About University | Workload

This is the fifth instalment of the student blogger collab, this week it's all about university workload.

When I was at college I could manage to workload of preparing for exams and completing essays (just about), albeit sometimes I was a bit lazy...

When I started university I was quite care free and happy, I suppose I might've had minimal effort as you'll hear this phrase circle quite a lot "you only have to pass first year". I would like to shut down this known phrase to university students, if you don't put in your all you won't receive an awful lot. I did ok in some units but if I had tried harder and watched less Netflix I might've done better.

The purpose of trying harder is to see what grades you can achieve, plus each year the workload gets more intense. I know that each course is different, whether you're doing a creative or academic course they both can be hard and demanding.

My advice to you (if you're a student or about to be one) is to look up all of your deadlines and what each deadline requires of you. My university give out these free academic wall planners, if you can get one of those or make one yourself to map out how much time you have per deadline. It'll also feel amazing when you start to tick off your deadlines!

When I had my dissertation I would start crossing off the days that had passed, it might sound a bit delusional to count down the days that I didn't have to finish. But, I found that adding that small bit of fear made me try a lot harder.

University isn't a joke and should be taken seriously, but you should know when you let loose and have breaks as well. Some people go through university constantly partying and only focusing on the social aspect, I'm not saying to ignore it, but it's not the whole reason why you're there and getting stupidly in debt!

Every year I tell myself that I'm going to keep on top of my work...and every year I more or less fail at doing so. I hate to admit the amount of times I've been doing work the night before a deadline, and every time I do it I kick myself for not being organised!

I know for some people that they can handle workloads and get high marks, so it does depend on your own ability and you need to work round that, and ask for help if you need it. There are loads of places for support at university, you just have to ask.

Let me know if you've got any advice on workloads!

I'm currently doing work for my last submission...which is tomorrow...I never learn!

Saffron x

Sunday 7 May 2017

A Letter To My Granny

Dear Granny,

It's a bit strange writing to you when you're not here anymore, but it reminds me of the letters and notes we'd write to each other. Like the one I wrote to you when I was too poorly to come and see you in hospital as I didn't want to make you any worse. I wrote about the time you saw a runner in the Great South Run in a lime green mankini and you didn't stop laughing for the rest of the day, and in turn made me laugh with you.

It hasn't gotten any easier now that a year has passed. I hate to think of you sometimes, because the thought that you're not here brings me to tears and it's too upsetting. I've learned that grief isn't easy, and you were such a big character that there's a huge hole in my life.

You were such a lovely lady and you didn't deserve to be in pain, so I often try to think of you at rest. I don't know if there is an after life, if there is I hope you've got your feet up reading a book, doing a crossword, cigarette in hand. If you're there with Grandad I expect you're embarrassing him, as he used to roll his eyes at you, but I always found you hilarious.

I started to write a post at the end of last year about you, and I stopped writing mid-sentence because it was still too raw, it's hard to write about you even now.

A lot has happened in the past year, not all good things I'm afraid. Part of the reason I have the strength to carry on is because I think of you, I think of how proud I want you to be of me, if you can see me. I want to succeed and be a good person, I know you were proud of me for going to university but I had wished I made more time for you. If I'm completely honest, I would've rather have watched bargain hunt or homes under the hammer with the subtitles on with you any day of the week than do university.

I'm sorry I let my social anxieties get the better of me, and didn't come to see you as often as I could have. As I learned I had no trouble coming to see you in the hospital, and I know it doesn't make up for it as I still feel guilty now. But I did all I could in those last few months, I didn't want you to be alone and I wanted to help in any way possible.

I always imagined you at my twenty first birthday, at my graduation, my wedding maybe even when I had children. I never thought you would pass so soon, I wasn't ready at all.

A year ago today I was about to be on my way to see you in the hospice when I had some missed calls. My mum phoned me to tell me that my dad needed to talk to me. It wasn't good as you will know. I stood in my bedroom opposite Connor as he awaited my reply, I tried to be strong but I couldn't. It feels like a part of me has been ripped away, like I haven't been the same since.

I think in the back of my mind I was still hoping you'd miraculously get better, which was wrong of me to give myself false hope. We do that stupid thing of looking back and thinking what we could do differently, but unfortunately I think there was nothing we could do. For some reason you had to go.

If you hadn't guessed by now, I miss you. A lot. It still hurts to say your name and to talk about you.

I never got to tell you that I was changing my name. A few years ago you told me how you wished one of the grandchildren had the middle name "Rose" like yours. I thought for a while about what you said, I changed my name on Facebook to "Saffron Amy-Rose Watson" and it wasn't until you were poorly that I realised you didn't know this. I thought that this was perhaps the perfect time to officially change it and show you. I started the process and paid for it etc it was nearly finalised, and then you were gone.

I still haven't dotted the i's or crossed the t's because I'm afraid that that's the end. I feel like it almost has no purpose that I can't tell you that I did it for you. I guess now's a better time than any to pick up where I left off and finish it for you. That way I will always carry a piece of you with me.

I find that sometimes I need days where I cry and need to let it out, but I also need to pick myself back up and LIVE. I'm not going to make you proud by sitting around in a hoodie and jogging bottoms binge watching Netflix am I?

My promise to you is that I will make something of myself, I will be happy and I will finish my name change.

Where ever you are, I just hope you're at peace now, that's all I can ask for.

I can still hear your voice and see memories of you which I'll cherish forever.

I love you lots,

Saffron xxx
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