I won’t lie, starting third year was a scary prospect for me. It’s the final year of your degree, meaning afterwards you have to make an actual decision about what you want to do with your life. Not only that, but there's the small matter of COVID-19 to consider.
The year ahead also means doing a dissertation, and there's general idea that things would be so much harder than they were before.
When my mum dropped me back off in Cambridge, at the same house I stayed in the year before, I felt as though I should’ve felt some kind of immense change. But actually, I suppose the biggest change that day was that I didn’t burst into tears at having my mum leave. (I had cried my first two years of university, and probably every first day of school since nursery.)
It was a small change, ridiculously small, but still it made me want to change my approach to third year.
I promised myself this year would be different – and unlike most New Year’s resolutions, I actually followed this one through. The very next day, I made myself a schedule, starting at 7am and going through to around 10pm. I made a full day of activities that would make sure I looked after myself as well as staying productive.
My first face-to-face lecture came two days later, and I was so nervous at being on campus with all the new changes! I was with a completely new lecturer, doing a module that I had no experience for; all of a sudden, I felt like I had on my first day of first year. I still had in the back of my mind that niggling feeling that I was a third year now and things were going to be different somehow.
Well they were different; we did after all have to wear masks in our classroom. However, the fear of things suddenly being more difficult, of me not being able to keep up, were proved unfounded. It was just like my previous years: I had a lot of fun in that class and considering the ongoing pandemic, I felt so safe while moving around campus.
Today marks the end of my first week of third year, and I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the year. I can’t wait to see what it has in store!
At ARU, we're working hard to create Covid-secure campuses and manage the risk of coronavirus transmission. Many of our students, like Zoe, are combining face-to-face teaching with online learning. Find out more about these arrangements, and studying at ARU, at one of our Open Days.