I have six months left before I complete my degree which means I have six months left to make the most of my student life. Yikes!
Some of you are also at the end of your College or Sixth Form years and are going through the process of making very hard decisions such as: Where should I go off to study? Am I ready for university? Should I take a Gap year? Should I stay at home? Or should I move out?
These are all really difficult questions!
I was in the same position two years ago and I can remember all the questions going through my head. What I did was to take the process one day at a time. I planned out my revision by making a timetable. I also searched all the universities that offered my course and attended taster days, open days, and called them.
I can also remember having a mini-heart attack everytime I got a notification from UCAS that I have an email from a university.
My top tips to survive the last months are:
Have a great weekend guys!
I'm in the final stages of my Business and Law degree at Kingston and its beginning to dawn on me that getting my degree will also mean saying good-bye to the place that has been my home for the past three years. Although I'm staying in London, I've decided the do my masters at Cass Business School, meaning I'm not only changing university, I'm also moving house to be closer to East London. I'm excited for the summer, but at the same time there are things I will miss about Kingston.
Firstly, I'll miss the friends I'm leaving behind. Of course I will try and see a lot of them regularly, and central London isn't too far off, but experience has shown me that "Oh we must meet up soon!" becomes a phrase too often used and too rarely acted upon. With many of my friends leaving Kingston to move to other cities in the UK or across the globe, there simply won't be the time or the opportunity to see each other. Here Skype and Facebook will be welcome tools in catching up with the people who have shaped my university experience. I can truly say Kingston has such a warm atmosphere and being part of that multi-cultural, dynamic experience has influenced me a lot.
Secondly, I'll miss Kingston Town centre. I live right next to the market square and I don't think you can get a more ideally located place. I will miss stepping outside and buying vegetables from the farmers' market, dropping into Bentall's for some shopping and going for spontaneous meals at Jamie's Italian. I know there are markets and shops and restaurants in Southwark but I liked the fact that Kingston is so homely, convenient and safe, without being boring. The joy of walking nearly everywhere (often even with a detour along the Thames) will be replaced by standing on over-crowded London underground trains and pushing through the masses of Central.
Thirdly, I'll miss the university as such. I liked my course, although in retrospect I found it less challenging than I had hoped for. I think Kingston's main strengths lie in the support staff and the teaching staff that are always there to help. It really goes a long way in reassuring someone coming to study in a foreign country, when there is a place you can go to receive support for anything from coursework deadlines to understanding UK TV licenses.
In the words of T.S. Eliot, "to make an end is to make a beginning", so although I will regrettably leave Kingston behind, I'm happy to move forward. However, I'm sure that I'll be back to visit!
One of the best things I have done since leaving school is joining the Camp America programme, and going to work at Round Lake Camp in Pennsylvania, USA. Each summer for the past 4 years I have joined other Brits, Aussies, Americans and Israeli's working with special needs children and adults. A 7 week programme; our campers are able to take part in endless amounts of activities ranging from jet skiing to ceramics, and from petting farm animals to high ropes, all the while being fully integrated with a mainstream camp.
Not only does camp give the summer of fun for campers, but counselors get the most exciting and character building summer. Apart from being a great asset to your CV, you will make new friends, work with some great kids and get to travel America afterwards. For anyone wanting to fill some time during semesters, Camp America is a great opportunity for you to earn some money and test your limits. The typical day involves waking up at the crack of dawn, helping the kids through activities throughout the day, assisting at meal times, and finishing the day at 10pm. Days are long and the temperatures are soaring but it is 100% worth it. Getting a great tan and getting fit at the same time are massive pluses to taking part in this. After the stresses of exams and essay writing, trying to get through one academic year to make the next, there is nothing more exhilarating than looking forward to a summer in America and spending 8 weeks under the blazing sun. The programme helps with everything including flights, insurance, visa assistance and background checks, acting as the middle man agency, you don't really have to do anything at all. Of course the services don't come free, and you'll have to dig into your pockets to find a couple of hundred pound to be able to take this amazing opportunity, but really what is that compared to a few months working in America, having a summer of fun and not having to pay any accommodation or expenses for at least two months has surely got to be worth it.
Although this blog may appear to seem the biggest sales pitch you'll ever come across, it genuinely will be one of the wisest decisions you'll make during your time at university. Nowhere else in the world can you be part of a community that you can make such a difference to the lives of young people, ensuring they have a great time at summer camp. What better way to earn some money during taking a well earned break from Uni!