Pause, reflect, press play.

It’s the last evening to be spent in Leicester by this student blogger. All packed, showered and shaved, house cleaned, train and boat tickets checked, and checked again. Just this blog to finish and that’s me, all done.

After a cocktail of lectures, books, deadlines and hangovers, finally getting back to that little rock in the middle of the Irish Sea which I call home is going to be a relief.

Tomorrow however, will be hell. The best part of the day spent in torturing slow transit over land and sea. By the time I finally arrive home I am in absolutely no doubt that I shall be expected to drop my bags and head straight out to play with the friends and family that I have missed so much since returning to Leicester. I can’t wait.

But first it’s time to pause for a minute and reflect on the academic year so far.

Looking back on the last three months spent at the University of Leicester only one thing can be said for certain; time has flown by. They (whoever they are) say that “time flies when you’re having fun”. I’m not sure exactly what is so much fun about spending the majority of the last three months in a library; even one as awesome as the David Wilson Library. But there must be something fun about it because I feel as if I’ve only been here a couple of weeks. Like a gust of wind, all apart from the January exams, the first half of the second year is done, finished, over.

The verdict: All in all it was good. Good on an individual level as I’ve become far more involved in the sociology course at the University of Leicester and most importantly really pushed myself academically, as I am sure plenty of my fellow students did. Also the experience has been very good on a more general level. The the first semester modules were excellent overall. Lectures and seminars went down well and the increase in assignment material really encouraged self motivation, effective time management and research skills. I’m not suggesting perfection here, but close to it maybe.

How, you might rightly ask yourself, can you trust the opinion of one particular student of sociology who, as it so happens, is being paid to ‘big up’ via the blogosphere his experience of studying sociology at the University of Leicester?

My opinion is that you shouldn’t.

This said however, as a student representative for the sociology department here at Leicester, I act as a kind of middle man relaying the comments and concerns of students to the staff and student committee meetings held twice a semester; the aim being to highlight any problems or indeed positives regarding the delivery and content of the sociology course.

So you could say that given this fact my brief verdict has been formed, and is reflective of the vast range of communicated experiences of my fellow students. Or it could just be that I’m so ‘in bed’ with the sociology department that whatever I say should be taken with a pinch of salt. I will leave this decision to you.

Obviously not all comments were positive. However the overall majority of student feedback has tended to be positive. I’ll give one brief but overarching example.

Positive feedback was especially apparent in the case of the second year Research Methods module. With such fear inducing content as: statistics and frequencies; percentages and proportions; cross-tabulations, comparing means, correlations, probability and random sampling; one could easily imagine a Research Methods lecture theater being full of students either fast asleep or bald after pulling their own hair out in frenzied frustration trying to understand all this incredibly complicated stuff.

Amazingly this was not the case. Thanks to the ability of the lecturer and seminar instructor to communicate all this jargon in a comprehensible and vaguely interesting way, many students to which I spoke found this largely feared module insightful, interesting and useful.

So overall then no major complaints, nothing seriously wrong, except someone has forgotten to take their finger off fast forward.

I hope the second half is as enjoyable and goes as well as the first, just not so dam fast.

Enjoy Christmas and the New Year.

Peace and love.

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About Bevan

Bevan has now graduated from the University of Leicester.

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