The End

So, this is it, the final post.

If this is your first time visiting the blog then I hope it serves as a helpful snapshot of one undergraduate’s experience of UEA, and if you have been here before then this post is a thank you for coming on this 3 year journey with me.

This blog has been many things; an outlet for my feelings on current events, a rather public diary of my time at university, and also a surprising way to find new people and opportunities. I’ve had the chance to speak to prospective undergraduates and current ones, answering their questions and hopefully allaying some of their fears. Although I (probably) won’t be adding to this blog it will remain up as a resource (and as a way for me to be occasionally nostalgic).

What’s the plan now?

Well, as of about 2 weeks ago I became a registered student at the University of Oxford and in October I will begin my MA in Medieval Literature, an undertaking I’m not sure I would have thought myself capable of this time last year.

Oxford will be a very different environment I’m sure, but I think having gone to UEA will keep it all (and by this I mean some of the slightly excessive traditions) in perspective. One of the things that I have always loved about UEA was that it didn’t stand on ceremony or labour over tradition, but rather aspires to always progress – the attitude it espouses in its motto, ‘Do Different’.

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After Oxford? Who knows. Maybe a PhD, maybe I’ll be doing something in the Heritage/Arts sector. But I’m not quite done with Norwich yet and I plan to visit when I can (luckily a fair few of my friends have stayed in the area).

When I think of UEA I think of its flying walkways, designed by Denys Lasdun so that students’ heads were almost literally up in the clouds and away from mundane realities of things such as cars. I think of the lake with its morning mists, dog walkers, and summer BBQs; the Sainsbury centre; morning coffees in Unio in the depths of winter; watching the changing colours of the trees whilst writing essays in the library. But most of all I will remember the kind and warm hearted people I met, who supported me, pushed me, and afforded me opportunities I couldn’t have imagined before I arrived.

I wouldn’t claim that my university experience was perfect but I’m so grateful to have had it and, in a small way, to have shared it here.

(If you’d like to contact me about UEA or more generally my experience as a student then you can still find me on twitter – the link is at the top of the page)

Quick Life Update

There’s been an awful lot going on lately so I thought it was probably time for a brief update on what I’m doing and what my plans are post-graduation.

Without wishing to blow my own trumpet I am delighted to say that I got a high first (which is the highest grade band for university work) for my dissertation. Obviously, this is a massive relief anyway but I am particularly delighted that I did well because I had been worrying that perhaps I hadn’t worked hard enough on it.

Now, before you think I slacked off for a semester and got lucky I should just clarify – one of the most important lessons I’ve had to learn at uni is when to stop pushing myself. I used to feel that if I wasn’t panicking and working all hours on an essay then I wasn’t working hard enough; if I didn’t feel like crying after finishing it had I really given it my all?

This kind of attitude can wrongly be celebrated at uni sometimes. People compete to complain about how many hours they spent in the library, how many coffees they had to drink to make it through. Of course, I don’t wish to suggest that you shouldn’t give an essay your best, but we need to be careful that we don’t regard burning yourself out as a sign of success.

Thanks to the amazing advice and support of my supervisor, Dr. Rebecca Pinner, writing my dissertation was a far less stressful and more enjoyable experience than I imagined it could be. (I could probably write a whole post on the importance of finding the right supervisor for you, but don’t worry I won’t) And at the end of the day, although uni is meant to be hard work it’s also supposed to be working hard at something you love and are interested in.

Lastly, I have applied to two Master’s degree programmes; one at York University and one at Oxford University. I’m still waiting to hear back from York but I was delighted (and very shocked) to receive an offer from Oxford for a place on their Mst. English Literature (650-1550) degree.

I’m still not a hundred percent certain which uni I will go to yet, and I’m still waiting to hear back from York, but it’s good to know that I will still be studying next year.

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Photos I took on my Applicant Day at Oxford

With Easter coming up hopefully I will have time to do a few more posts about Norwich before I graduate and leave this fine city.