JT_888: The Journey to Achieving a 1st Class Degree - Year 3 (2021/22)

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JT_888
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#21
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#21
Blog Update #7: Friday 12th November 2021

It's good to be back to update this blog once again after a very hectic 4 weeks (more like a very hectic Autumn term so far). In short, I've been extremely busy and just haven't had the time to do a proper blog update, but I'll keep this update relatively brief and concise as possible.

Since I last updated, I have switched one of my modules to SPY00001H Housing Policy which has been going well albeit I'm still playing catch-up with some of the content - it's just a couple of seminar readings which are actually quite important and I'll get round to that soon. The module convenor was exceptionally welcoming and accommodating when I requested permission to switch modules, but it's a shame I haven't really got to meet her in person - we have another lecturer taking our classes for the past few weeks.

This week's Housing Policy lecture was on homes of the future which is a fascinating topic as we explore the challenges the governments face globally in dealing with rapidly shifting environmental and social changes (quite fitting given that COP26 ends this week) and how at least in the UK, we are shifting towards zero-carbon housing. We also briefly explored the possible ramifications of climate change and what this will mean for future generations. Today, we had a guest speaker from a housing development firm talking about how it is possible to deliver sustainable development, but we got thinking about the ways in which we could deliver sustainable developments across the UK, what policy limitations exist and how could we possibly fix this.

For SOC00039H The Racial State, we have finished teaching for the module, but covered a lot of different topics and its links with racism and racial inequalities in society and I've thoroughly enjoyed taking this module. For my summative assignment, I'll be looking at the implications of race and class on Brexit in a 4,000 word essay (currently in the process of doing an essay plan) and I can't wait to write it - we had to come up with our own question and been going back and forth with ideas and possible questions with my lecturer who has been really supportive. Finally have something concrete and a rather unique argument which I just need to build upon - just need to make sure my points are robust and links well with my overarching argument.

Dissertation - Slow progress atm with the literature review, but with my workload easing next week, this will give me much needed time to effectively get myself back on track and I need to arrange another dissertation supervision meeting ASAP.


Driving lessons - Making quite a bit of progress, albeit slower than my instructor and I would like. My test is in early December and atm, I'm worried that I won't quite be at test standard by then, but I'm already looking at fitting in extra lessons between now and then to ensure I'm at test standard and hopefully pass first-time. As you can probably tell, this has been part of the reason why I've been under a lot of stress recently alongside the ridiculous uni workload (wish York had already implemented semesterisation and modularisation) and I'm glad that the uni workload is starting to ease a bit - should help with everything.

In other news, I had quite a low-profile 21st birthday this week - kinda celebrated early with some of my housemates by going to Yo Sushi last Saturday which we really regretted as we felt we didn't get our money's worth with food. On the day itself, I went for bubble tea with one of my closest friends, a walk around York City Centre, and they cooked me char siu pork for dinner with broccoli floretts, fried egg, and rice. Tomorrow, I'm going to celebrate properly by going to Leeds City Centre for Dim Sum with some other friends, one of them is a fellow coursemate of mine and I can't wait - I've been craving Dim Sum for a while now and haven't been out for Dim Sum since the pandemic so this will be really nice. Afterwards, we're probably going to explore Leeds City Centre and might do a bit of shopping, though I think I'll mostly end up window shopping then actually shopping for something lmao - might get a pair of inexpensive black trainers if I could find one I like.

QOTD: How's everyone doing? Feel free to react with emojis.
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#22
Report Thread starter 30 minutes ago
#22
Blog Update #8: Friday 3rd December 2021

I'm back from another hiatus now that my 10 week term at York is finally over (I can't believe it!) and finally have some time to write another blog update. In short, life has been extremely hectic and I'm in serious need for a break - actually did s**t all today except watching Netflix and doing a quick 10 minute Zoom call with my Sociology lecturer regarding my essay plan for SOC00039H The Racial State.

1. SPS00002H SPS Dissertation
Since I last updated, I've made quite a bit of progress with my dissertation in terms of reading various papers related to my dissertation topic/research questions, but I did feel like I was losing the trees for the woods before I had another dissertation supervision meeting last week. It just felt like I had a lot of stuff to read (which is true) and I was just beginning to lose the plot a little, but the dissertation supervision meeting last week has been really helpful in putting me back on track.

My dissertation supervisor just reassured me that I'll be fine and said that I'm actually ahead of other students he's also supervising for their dissertation (doesn't particularly bother me as everyone will be at different stages with their dissertation) because from the very beginning, I have clear research questions to help guide me in my literature review (with my supervisor's guidance) and will be making use of a wide range of relevant literature. All I need to do now is a bit more reading and start drafting a literature review in the next few weeks and send this over to him during the holidays. I'll have to carefully plan how the next few weeks will look like as I'm in desparate need for a break and really want to avoid feeling burnt out - on many occasions this term, I've been quite close to letting that happen.

2. SPY00001H Housing Policy
We have a presentation on Tuesday which is worth 30% of my module mark and honestly I've been dreading it from the very start as I didn't settle on a topic/question until quite late and had very little time to put a presentation together, let alone practice my presentation to ensure it's within the 5 minutes we've been allocated. Overall, I think I did alright in terms of getting my points across as I've treated this as more of an essay plan (that's what it is essentially), but I can see myself getting marked down for timing of the presentation, lacking visual aids in my slides (a fair criticism), and just having slides which aren't easy to read (again another fair criticism - same thing got picked up on by my sociology lecturer). A similar thing has happened to some of my peers and there's a few examples where my peers had more accessible slides, but the structure of their argument/analysis was rather lacking, so I don't know what to expect.


In all honesty, it's really bothering me a lot and I know it sounds stupid, but it's worth 30% of my module mark. A part of me just wished it was a formative as it would just alleviate a lot of stress in terms of me having to frantically put together a presentation when things haven't been too great in terms of uni life/for me personally - some of which I don't wish to talk about here as it's private stuff. I suppose the feedback will be really useful when I do receive it - ETA is before Saturday 18th December.

3. SOC00039H The Racial State
Yesterday, I had a formative presentation which went alright, but I wasn't happy with the way I presented and honestly, I wasn't in the mood to present yesterday - I'll explain a bit more later. Despite that, in my feedback this afternoon, my Sociology lecturer said she was impressed with my essay plan for topic on the implications of race and class on Brexit as I have a very clear introduction and conclusion, and a clear structure/line of argument for my essay. She also gave me some constructive feedback on the presentation which I took on board and we had a brief chat about how I found the presentation and what I'm doing next after 3rd year which I still have no idea, but she reminded me about my academic potential. Honestly, that feedback session just made my day as I'm feeling very tired atm and just struggling a little with my mental health, but defo not in silence (have told my dissertation supervisor how I'm feeling and my friends).

4. Life Update
i) Driving Lessons
Driving lessons have been going well with steady progress being made, but I had to make the difficult, yet right decision to postpone my practical date to a later date (currently got a slot in April which I'm hoping to change to mid February) as I was clearly not ready for the test and this added a lot of pressure in terms of fitting lessons in around uni.


ii) Uni Life
I've made no secret of this to my friends, but I've not really enjoyed the start of my third year/this term at all. Despite having lovely housemates and doing things together, i just feeel like I've been constantly fixated with uni work throughout the 10 weeks and there's very little social events with the societies I'm involved with that I could attend. Hence, it's just been tricky to have some down time and since changing one of my modules, it's not been particularly easy catching up with the content. I'm going back to London on the 18th Dec as I just want a bit of quiet time to work on my dissertation and just wanted a few more weeks in York to be with some of my friends (a few are leaving later, some have already graduated and live in York, and some of my housemates are leaving later) - hoping to do something nice like a Christmas dinner or just something nice in general. Speaking of which, I'm going to on a day trip to Edinburgh next Wednesday which I'm looking forward to as I've never been to Scotland before and will be making the most of my trip - seeing the key landmarks, exploring their Christmas Market, and I suppose clearing my mind a bit after a long and difficult term.


QOTD: What plans do you guys have for the festive break?
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