Looking over the other posts on here, one thing seems to be very clear: everyone is pretty stressed at the moment. Which definitely makes me feel better, because I’ve been fairly manic over the last couple of weeks and I’ll probably stay that way until the Christmas break! It’s good to know I’m not the only one. I always think this semester is the hardest because you have to get back into the mind-set for classes after a summer off, the weather is quite often so vile you just want to hide inside all day, and this point in particular is too soon to get excited about Christmas, but definitely time to be panicking about deadlines. What a positive picture I’ve painted!
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. I’ve found that being busier this year has made me more organised because I have to be, and that’s what I think is key. This is why, despite your workload, I’m going to recommend doing at least one or two things that aren’t course related to take up more of your carefully allocated time. The obvious reason for doing that is to enhance your CV and employable skills, but honestly I’ve found that meeting different people, working on something completely different to my degree, and having something else that means I further structure my time, has been really useful for me.
This year I’ve left out societies, but I have decided to take part in the Leicester Award Gold. In order to do this, you have to have already done the Leicester Award. These are awards that go on your university transcript, and I’d recommend them because aspects are really helpful. For example, I was already volunteering in a school and with someone with Asperger’s syndrome in my second year, so I decided to do the Leicester Award to help me link my experiences to ways that would help me in the future. Although I was a bit (very) doubtful about the Award, it was in the end a good experience and I’d definitely recommend doing it. The links I’ve provided here will give you plenty of information about the Award. Although the deadlines for this awards has already passed, it’s something to think about for next year, whether you’re a prospective or a current student.
Then this year I was sent an email about the Gold award, which takes the next step in linking you to employers. I’ve got quite a bit of experience doing different things but I’m lacking the experience of talking to people in a professional setting and being part of a business, so I realised this would be a really good thing for me to do. I’ve gone for the award which is called WISE and involves working with a Social Enterprise. What I have to do for the award (other people are given other tasks/enterprises etc) is come up with a marketing strategy, with two other people, for an enterprise called Inspirate which is putting on an event in Leicester called An Indian Summer. We’ll be pitching our ideas to a Project Manager and then writing a report for Inspirate over the next couple of weeks.
Honestly, it’s been challenging. I’ve had to do a bit of research because I don’t know much about this area. But this means I’m learning new skills and I can actually see how new this experience is for me, which is really rewarding. So I think what I’d like you to take away from this post is that Leicester has a lot of things on offer to provide you with new experiences, and I’d really encourage you to get involved.
That’s all from me, bye for now!