Reflecting on my time at uni

Finalist student, Alexander, shares his thoughts on his time at university…

“I’m now in my final week of being a student, so I thought I would share some of my reflections on my three years as a student here…
• The three years has gone by scarily quickly! I have always aimed to make the most of my time here, through attending careers events and Life Tools Talks, nearly all of which I have found helpful in one way or another. I can still remember helpful ‘nuggets’ from events I attended a long time ago! In my 1st year I completed the RED Award, which felt like a good achievement and I have put it on my C.V. It was a useful experience, as it motivated me to get stuck in and gain more knowledge, understanding and skills. The good thing about RED award is that you can tailor it you and do it at your own pace.

• My career plans have changed slightly since coming to university. I was unsure about what I wanted to do, but after a lot of thought, completing two careers modules, a placement, some networking, I have a much better idea. Uni is a good opportunity to think about and plan what you want to do next.

• It has been fantastic to meet a wide variety of people, from different backgrounds and walks of life. It doesn’t matter who you are, you will be accepted, as students at University are much more open-minded than they are at school! If you are finding it hard to settle in, or will be joining Reading Uni in September, check out the vast range of opportunities available here (including how to become a Student Communications Ambassador – which is the paid role myself and the other writers of this blog have).

• Hard work does pay off, but getting the work/life balance is important too. At uni my work ethic, determination and stamina have improved. At times it did feel like I was working almost non-stop (I’m sure you can all relate to that!), but on top of working hard I did have times when I played hard. I would sometimes get frustrated when my work/life balance wasn’t how I wanted it to be. I worked harder during my time at uni than I did at college and it has definitely reaped more rewards. I learnt to appreciate that getting the work/life balance is a challenge for everyone and will probably continue to be a challenge.

• Confidence in my abilities has grown. I came to uni unsure how far I would get, but willing and determined to give it a go.

• I’ve really enjoyed the independence and getting to know a new area. I have enjoyed Reading so much that I’m hoping to stay. The transport links and being close to London are what I love about Reading.

• I’ve loved studying on both campuses at Whiteknights and London Road. I think our campuses are a lot greener and more spacious than others… certainly compared to the ones I’ve visited. The Green Flag award has been well earned!

• Support from the Disability Advisory Service, RUSU and the Careers Service have been very useful and helped me to relax and be more confident.

Are you in your final year? What have you enjoyed, learnt or discovered at uni? Leave a comment below. If you are leaving uni, good luck for the future and if you’re staying at uni good luck for the rest of your course!”

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