This last week has been possibly the most frantic ,and at times stressful, of my uni life so far. Admittedly, I am only a second year student and next year brings the dreaded dissertation, but I have certainly worked my backside of this week. Basically, in just under two weeks, I researched and wrote a 4,000 word comparison essay on the worldviews of Hinduism and Buddhism. Not bad, especially when I had a whole day of being unable to focus due to sickness and also attended all my lectures and social commitments.
Friday through to Monday were intensive research days of textbooks and articles, with a shift at Oxfam, church and a two hour lecture throw into the mix, while Tuesday to Thursday I wrote the actually essay. The way I work is I choose my question and type up a plan of things I know I want to include and how to link them into the question. While I am researching the information, I quote the textbooks directly into the plan, using a colour key to keep the texts separate and with the relevent page numbers in brackets next to the information. I tried several different techniques of researching for essays, including sticky noting pages, put this is the quickest and easier method as once I’ve used the book, I no longer need to refer back to it. All the relevent info for the bibliography is already typed up in my actually essay document, as this is one of the first things I do when planning. That way when it comes to actually writing the essay, all the information for my footnotes is already there and my workspace is kept tidy, as it simply has my laptop, the referencing guide (you can never be too careful, especially when your two subjects use slightly different styles!), copious but detailed notes and my cup. Nothing else is needed, which is perfect when you have a tiny area to work in! I do have one of the smallest rooms in the house. On Tuesday I was amazed at how much I actually managed to get written (1,500 words) as after my witchcraft lecture, I went for a steak meal at the local pub with my classmates to celebrate the end of term. Wednesday was a bit more draining as I worked my full afternoon shift at Oxfam and by 11.30pm I began to write my conclusion and came up blank. Instead I scribbled a quick couple of ideas and a note explaining the ending drivel to my flatmate who had kindly agreed to read and edit it for me. I then spent Thursday between lectures finishing off my essay, including changing all the Sanskrit and Pali words into their correct written formation (i.e. putting the accents in) while skyping my dad. I’m really happy with what I handed in, although I did have to go to the library before class to print out another copy because my printer made it go slightly stripy and we get marked on presentation. What can I say, I’m picky but proud of what I create! Anyway, it was handed in, I attended my last lecture of the term and I now don’t have any deadlines til the end of May. Happy days!
On Thursday night we went our local pub as a house for food and a drink to celebrate the hard work we’ve all done. I’d completed five essays in the term, the two largest in less than a month, one housemate had just done a presentation on her placement project and was handing in her dissertation the next day and another housemate will be starting her new job on Monday. It was a lovely night out, although my meal was a bit of a disappointment – the steak in my sandwich was too tough and the side salad contained swede. I thought it was grated cheese and it certainly wasn’t! I usually eat the side salad but the swede tainted it. Bleurgh. Apart from that, it was a brilliant way to conclude a busy term.
At least kept it all within the lettuce leaf
The next morning, I was greeted to a snowy Liverpool. Usually, this isn’t a probably as Liverpool doesn’t really get a great deal of snow, but I was going out that night and getting the train back to Newcastle on Saturday. So I wasn’t all that impressed. Friday was spent packing, then Guides and then off to my friend’s house for pre-drinks to celebrate her birthday. I hadn’t intended to actually go out into town, I was meant to share a taxi home with another friend, but in the end we decided to go out with the rest of them. So I went clubbing in the snow. Without a coat. I’m a Geordie, it’s what we’re known for. However, I would’ve worn a cardie if I’d known I’d be walking around town! We spent most of the night in Baa Bar, and I was barely tipsy (unlike the last time I went out with the theology girls) which is the state I prefer to be in. One of my friends had a O2 deal for shots, so for £15 we got 28 shots. I chipped in my £3 and had three of the nicer looking ones – no irish cream or sambuccas for me! It was also an experience for me because I got chatted up or danced at a few times through the night. That never happened before last year really and in a way I preferred it! Lads can be so creepy at times. Like I caught the eyes of one guy and he started to hip thrust at me on the spot. Just no. Me and my mate were in stitches from it but still. It’s weird. Also when a girl turns her back on you, don’t keep dancing next to her. Awkward. And I really don’t do awkward well. I got back in the house around 3am, had my mccy’s (chicken nuggets and fries as my treat) and was asleep by 4am. That’s about as close to the typical student life as I get!
Only to be back up at 8.45am to get ready for going home for Easter. I was out the house just after 10am and my train departed from Liverpool just after 11.20am. The scenery on the way up was lovely and snowy, I spent most of the first train watching the final episode of series two of Sherlock (not going to lie, I nearly cried and I can’t wait for the next season) and started season five of Castle. I love Castle and now that I’m not as busy, I can catch up on all my favourite tv! My first train ended up being twenty minutes late into York due to delays around Huddersfield, but thankfully my connecting train was on the next platform, so no running up and down stairs with a suitcase this time. Usually my other train – York to Newcastle – takes roughly an hour, depending on which stops it does in the middle. However, there was planned rail work around Durham and only one train an hour went to Newcastle, the rest went to Darlington and then had a connecting bus to Newcastle. No way was I doing that, so I was really pleased when I still managed to catch my train, despite the delay. Due to the rail work, my train took just under two hours to get to Newcastle, we went all around the back routes of nowhere. By 4.30pm though I was back home as my mum came and picked me up from the station, and after a lovely meal we were back in town to see a concert. We’d got the tickets half price through Orange Fun Finder and we had brilliant seats. The show was Boogie Nights at Newcastle City Hall with three of The Osmonds in the cast alongside Chico, Gareth Gates and a few other X Factorish people. It was a fantastic show.
I’m just having a lazy day today. My mum still has flu, and although she felt loads better yesterday, she’s back in bed today. Hopefully she makes a full recovery soon as it’s been nearly a week. We did a bit of online shopping earlier and I’m going to paint my nails with our new OPI collection that arrived during the week. My stepdad is currently slaving away in the kitchen making his delicious roast chicken dinner and some soup.
Mum surprised me with this lovely giraffe pandora charm for doing so well at uni
It’s so good to be home!