Hello world! Sorry for my non-existence in the blogging world lately! As some of you may remember, I started a PGCE last month to set me off on my merry way towards becoming an English Teacher. Since then, I've been a busy little bee finding my way around my first placement school as well as having loads of Uni stuff going on too. I'm absolutely loving it though, I'm learning a lot and I can't wait to get stuck in teaching my own classes now. I've amazed myself with how organised and let's face it nerdy I've become since starting the course, somehow I'm almost enjoying writing my first essay... Being a big grown up person I've found it a lot easier to motivate myself to do work than I did when I was doing my undergraduate degree and have found myself thinking "Why did I never do this at Uni?!" so often over the last few weeks. So I thought I'd put a little list together of things I wish my 20 year old self knew or did, and hopefully it might help one or two of you out there too!
- Putting in the graft, doing your reading and writing your assignments is a billion times easier if it's a topic you're interested in. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my English Language degree, but sometimes no matter how much I tried, reading about corpus linguistics and other, erm, fascinating topics just wasn't ever going to fill me with much enthusiasn. Obviously there'll be some elements of your degree you'll like better than others, but think carefully when you're picking your modules (and even your course!) to make sure you're going to have enough passion to push yourself through.
- There are actually a lot of hours in the day. Ok, so I'm living a very different lifestyle to the one I had a few years ago, three years of working full time waved a sad farewell to midweek nights out, but if you have time off USE IT. I spent so many hours rewatching Friends and Come Dine With Me and just doing anything I possibly could to avoid work (including one time when my housemate and I spent HOURS throwing a foam lemon to each other instead of writing our essays...), but being used to working full time, I've been trying to get up at a reasonable time on my days off and then either packing myself off to the library to work for a good few hours or setting up a fort in my bed to work from there. It makes it SO much easier and you'll find you've got more time for fun in the evenings if you make use of your days.
-Kind of linked to that last point, but making the most of your time at Uni is so important. I did little bits and bobs with a few societies in second and third year but didn't get involved in anything in first year. Now I'm a postgrad, I keep thinking of loads of different societies I'd join if I had more free time to play with. Make the most of it while you can. Once you've got a busy full time working lifestyle ahead of you you'll wish you'd done all the exciting things you don't have time for anymore.
- Weekly planners are your friend. On one of my big stationary binges a few months ago, I bought a weekly desk planner from Paperchase. Now, not having a desk, I've had to find my own uses for this (mostly just throwing it into whatever folder/notebook I'm carrying around that day) but I've been using it religiously each week to set myself tasks each day and to remind myself when certain pieces of work need doing by. So simple, but it works so well and there's something really satisfying about scribbling things out once you've done them.
Anyone else out there got any tips you'd give to their younger self?