It's time to throw it back to third year again with recent university finalist Rachael. Rachael has now finished her degree in Psychology at the University of Worcester and is due to graduate this year.
Here's a little about Rachael's university experience...enjoy!
Have you enjoyed your time at university?
Do you have any regrets?
A few but no major ones – for example, I regret not taking advantage of how much spare time I had in first and second year. I wish that I’d volunteered and got some paid work earlier. I also wish that I hadn't left it until the last year to join a society because I had a lot more fun than I expected.
Is there something that you really wish you had done, but never got the chance to?
I wish that I had the chance to have a semester abroad but unfortunately my course didn’t offer that. I keep seeing people doing it and I am so jealous.
What was the highlight of your university years?
It’s quite hard to choose. I loved the social aspect – partying and having fun as well as meeting people who have honestly grown me as a person. However, I was really engaged in my subject and (as nerdy as it is), getting to learn new things all the time. So yeah, it would have be a tie between the two.
How do you feel you’ve changed over the years?
I feel like I am a lot more rational and laid-back about things. Like before uni I would find it hard not to let my emotions get the better of me, but now I can just take things on the chin and think on the long-term. I also feel that I am a lot more motivated to become self-reliant than I was before. And I have a much better idea of what I want from life which has made me more confident and assertive than I was previously.
Has your friendship group changed much?
It really has. It’s become smaller but in a good way as the quality of the friendships has improved vastly.
What was your biggest achievement during your time at university?
Probably a standard one but achieving a 2:1 on my degree. I was so excited because I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d achieve it.
Do you feel like going to university has been worthwhile?
What are your plans now?
I’m currently working in Worcester in retail until my house contract runs out, just to save up some money, then I’m going back home and applying for jobs in mental health.
How do you feel about graduation day?
I’m looking forward to it. I'm not looking forward to wearing the gowns though, but I can’t wait to see everyone again and partying after.
What was it like doing a final year project?
It was alright, it was fun to be able to research an area of my choice. However it was also quite nerve racking because I had no idea what was considered a good standard of work for the project.
What advice would you give to students going into their final year?
Honestly, just to work as hard as you can and to really engage and enjoy it because it’s your last chance. Third year can leave you pretty frazzled though so I’d say don’t be afraid to let yourself go and have some fun as well, just make sure your work isn’t neglected completely.
What was the best night out you had at university?
There are so many great nights they all really blur into one. A really good one though was in second year on Halloween. We had a pre-drinks session and then I went to my friend’s house party that was joint with their neighbors. I met a load of new people and I was pretty wasted all night. We went out after but I was so drunk that I can’t remember this point, haha. I don’t know why it was so memorable but it was probably because I love Halloween and spent the night in an alcohol infused, hyper state.
How did freshers week feels as a final year?
It was really fun! I think it was one of the fresher’s week I enjoyed the most as I didn’t feel like a lost puppy. It was great seeing people on nights out who I hadn’t seen all summer. It was weird seeing all the freshers out though, they all looked so young!
How did your nights out change as university went on?
They were really fun at the beginning as everyone was new and it was pretty exciting because of this. As they went on I got more confident and spoke to more people as well as figuring out the best nights to go out (always Mondays and Wednesdays in Worcester). After joining a society pre-drinks were a lot more intense and I drank a lot more. However, because I always knew a lot more people and knew how safe Worcester is, I became much more carefree on nights out and really got into them.
Would you do it all again?
Probably not, it was a fantastic experience but I feel like I’ve got every-thing that I wanted to get out of it.
Where do you plan to settle down now?
Moving home until I figure out what I’m going to do exactly.
What’s your plan after graduation?
I’m wanting to go into clinical psychology so I’m hoping to land a job in mental health while I spend some time out of education before going back and doing a clin-ical psychology masters.
*Photo courtesy of Rachael