I have documented each semester of university on my blog since I started back in September 2018. However, what I will say is when I started uni back in 2018, I would not have anticipated my university experience to end up like this. I don’t think anyone could predict this! I was debating not writing this post because Year 2 semester 2 really hasn’t happened, but I thought it would be nice for me to look back on regardless, and it might shed some light on the university experience that most students are facing right now.
So we started this semester late January after exam season (which feels like a million years ago now). Exam season was so tough to be honest, as I had never had lots of exams in January before (I only had 1 in my first year), and having to motivate myself to revise over the Christmas break was challenging. However, I really pushed myself and came out with an average of 74 in semester 1, which I was obviously super happy with.
Then everything went incredibly downhill. Lets be honest, year 2 semester 2 wasn’t exactly as planned was it?
We started the semester off with a huge mix up of my modules, due to a communication problem between some of my uni departments. This left me with a few days of stress and, although it was sorted out, it did mean I was enrolled onto the wrong modules for a while. So thats one week of some lectures missed.
Then the strike happened. This was a 3 week long strike, where the vast majority of my classes were missed, and many of my midterm assignments were submitted with little support from teachers. This was obviously a nationwide problem and I know so many of my friends at other university’s who were subject to strike action. Although that doesn’t undermine how annoying it was, especially when you are trying to submit assignments.
The only real good thing that came out of the strike action was that I had some more days on my hands, so I was able to socialise and go on more nights out than I usually would. I also managed to squeeze in a trip to Dublin to celebrate my grandads birthday, because the strikes meant I could have long weekends. That seemed good at the time, and in hindsight, I’m so glad I was able to do them things… because I genuinely think they will be my only ‘normal’ memories of 2020. Thats a story for another day though!
Just when we thought we couldn’t have any more lost teaching… a global pandemic entered the chat. I genuinely think that the universities made the best decision in closing down face to face teaching, for the sake of the students and the health of the teachers. However, I have not gotten along well with the online provisions so far, and everyone is just trying to navigate a new way of teaching. The teachers don’t even know whats going on, so how are the students mean too? I think it has been generally handled *okay* by our university, I am not saying it has been handled well by a long shot as the communication has been honestly horrendous, but I also fully understand how hard it must be to organise 40,000 students. I couldn’t do it, so hats off to anyone even trying.
That has meant that everyone has moved home, everything has been moved online, and, at least at my universities, all examinations are cancelled. That has meant that I have needed to do my assignments for year 2 semester 2, but exam season hasn’t happened. I don’t know how to feel about this. We are getting no ‘safety net’ policy unlike other unis, and if doing online exams meant that I could secure 74 or higher, I would happily do so.
However, it has taken a lot of pressure off me, and it has meant that I don’t have to be so heavily focused on work like I usually am at this time of year. Mid May is usually so exam driven, and it has been since 2016, so its quite nice to have a bit of a slower pace of life at the moment, and focus on things other than my degree such as my youtube channel and business. Granted, I am struggling a lot with my essays because of the sheer lack of teaching this semester, but I’m hoping mitigating circumstances means that my mark is more generous than what it would be in a normal situation. We can only hope!
So that is the document of my weirdest semester of my degree so far, and I’m thinking it is only going to get weirder. There has been discussion of my degree being fully or at least partly online next year, and although I think it is the safest option, I don’t think its going to do wonders for my stress levels. One thing for sure though is that I will be documenting the whole process. Who knows what is going to happen!
I can only apologise for how negative this post is, and I really wasn’t expecting to be writing a post like this, as I thought that my second year university experience was so good in first semester. Nothing can be helped though, and like I said I still wanted to document whatever does happen, so thank you for reading my rambles anyway. One thing is for certain- I think we will all remember this time for the rest of my life.