Like many final year students, one of our bloggers, Joe, has recently received his final classification, and his time as a CU student has concluded. We asked him to open up about his University experience, and see how it feels to now be a ‘student free’ man!
So, graduation day aside, my time as a student at Coventry University is officially over! It’s honestly crazy to think how fast these past 3 years have gone – it only feels like a couple of months ago that I was wondering around Coventry city centre on my 1st day with a lad on my course, desperately trying to get a grasp of our new surroundings during a REALLY long induction break! At the end of that first semester I remember thinking how quickly the time had gone -but that was nothing compared to how the rest of my time has flown by!
The course itself (Media And Communications) had always been a key factor in my decision to come to Coventry. Now the course is completed, I can safely say it hasn’t disappointed! The skills I have developed and enhanced over the last 3 years I’m sure will prove to be invaluable – from academic writing, practical research skills, and even public speaking, these are all strong transferrable skills to put into practice when I settle myself into a career.
Without falling into the obvious ‘teachers pet’ category, my University experience has been greatly enhanced by the fantastic tutors I’ve had during the course. Obviously University is in a completely different ‘mould’ to being in high school or doing A-levels, but it’s surprised me just how different the classes and tutors are. It is much more relaxed, but still very focused, and the tutors are more like colleagues and friends then they are teachers! I found that if you make time to speak to the tutors and they get to know you better, it makes things much easier, and it develops more of a professional working relationship, rather than the usual student/teacher vibe!
It’s also been great to get to know and work with so many new people and course-mates. A particular part of this, which is something that most of us couldn’t bear the thought of, but I actually quite enjoyed doing… the dreaded GW… GROUP WORK! A particular emphasis was put on working together on group projects and presentations – even if you wouldn’t necessarily talk to some members of the group outside of this! It’s one way the course prepares you for the professional working environment, and personally, I used it as another chance to get to know lots of the other students. Inevitably, there were always people that contributed (WAY!) more than others, but you just need to pull together and try to utilise everyones strengths. Easier said than done I know, but it felt great when you know you’ve produced a strong group project – and there’s no avoiding it, so you basically just have to get on with it!
Now it’s easy to talk about all the fantastic elements of my time as a student at CU now the degree is completed, but whilst you’re in the depths of your studies and assignments, it’s also easy to find things really tough and overwhelming. During this third/final year especially, there were points when I honestly thought I wasn’t going to be able to complete it all. The workload isn’t exactly a crazy amount bigger than it was in 1st or 2nd year, but it was the size of each project, and knowing just how important the modules and my results were to my final grade. I let all this pressure and worry build up, without even talking to anyone about it and just acting calm. But, as soon as I spoke up about how I had been feeling, a HUGE weight was lifted, and I became so much more focused and relaxed. So my advice would be to anyone finding themselves having a rough time with their studies, please try and take that first step and speak to someone about it, and find comfort in the fact that these feelings occur to way more people than you might think!
So, just over a week ago, our final classifications for the degree were released. I’m so glad to have made that decision 3 years ago to go to University, and I’m so happy and proud to now say that all the hard work paid off and I have been given a FIRST!! Whilst I’m obviously thrilled to have achieved this, making it to the end and saying “I did it” is just as, if not more so, rewarding. Anyone that has, or is about to finish their degree, don’t underestimate just what a fantastic achievement that is – I certainly won’t!