AHHHHH. I wrote this out word perfect – yep I truly tried to write a good post – and the page crashed sdfhsdfhjsdk. Yep, so here I go again.
First of all I feel writing a post called how to prepare for third year is slightly misleading, I don’t actually know how to prepare for third year, but over the past two years I’ve definitely learnt how to be prepared for a term and other times I’ve also not prepared for term and learnt that it’s a bad decision that you only spend 10 weeks regretting.
So from what I’ve learnt so far, this is exactly what I’m doing to prepare for my third year and what I would recommend to anyone else doing an English degree.
Read Yo Books
What? Read your books before the term? But what will you do with all that time during term?! Lemme tell you something I have never read the two allocated books in one week (unless it’s poetry as that is actually doable) because it is not realistic to read and analyse at university standard two books per week as well as read any secondary criticism and yanoo have that thing, what it’s called? Oh yeah a life.
Make a long ass list
I am a list kind of gal, yes a very long list of things to do can be daunting and actually a little off putting, but I find by writing everything I have to do down I then don’t ever panic I’ve forgotten something or reach term and realise that there was a super important text I should have read and it slipped my mind. I also split the list up into different sections such as my modules, the dissertation, extra curricular things I have lined up and a section for extra things I’d like to start. I also have to have a budget and health section as I like to start good routines before I get back to uni to avoid a week 1 overload by trying to do everything at once. Ah so many mistakes.
I think this is potentially the most important and something I’ve done throughout my time at university is talking to other people who have studied the same course or even just gone to university, as knowing that someone else has had a similar experience and more importantly how they overcame or dealt with whatever uni crisis that you’re having is so so helpful and reassuring. Equally get advice about your dissertation topic, books or about writing a dissertations in general, as seeing someone else’s passion for your topic as well as discussing ideas will really give you a good boost before speaking to your supervisor.
Do some close reading of your dissertation texts
This was actually recommended to me by a friend of mine and it makes so much sense, before first term to pick out your dissertation text/s and work through it finding extracts that you think are important towards your general idea. Then do a close reading of this section so that not only have you done a considerable amount of work for your diss, which will save you time later, you also already have some themes and ideas picked out from which you can source your secondary criticism. Also close reading is one of the best parts of the degree yanoo getting into all the nitty gritty of a text you really love, it just reminded me why I chose this degree and why I love books.
Make a list of things you want to do at uni
At one of the many pre’s last year my ex-flatmate showed me a list he’d made of all the things he wanted to do at uni and his friend was making sure he did every single one of them. Now this is the kind of cute funny thing to expect Joel would do, and that’s why he’s so dreamy, but it also made me realise that this was such a good idea. So myself and my gals are each making a list of what we want to do in third year and however random, stupid, challenging, adventurous they are we have to make sure we all complete our lists.
This final lil one I’ve just added on as actually it’s something I’ve done a lot of too – not working, switching off completely. I mean watching TV shows, reading your fave books, films, reading blogs, scrolling on Pinterest for ages, going for walks, swimming, jogging, sitting with your dogs, cats, bunnies. Whatever chills you out, just find it and relax. Even if it is finding Avengers memes (would recommend) or watching interview with your favourite actors (again, guilty). Just do it.