Friends stood on hill

Bobbie’s Third Year in Review

So, it’s nearly the end of my third and my final year at the university. As I near the end of the year and approach exams, I look back on everything that has happened to me whilst at university. First-year Bobbie is so different to third-year Bobbie; third-year Bobbie is more social; more patient; but she’s also been through the mill. Start of the third year Bobbie is in an entirely different place to the end of third year Bobbie, and I am sure *many* third-year students can say the same!

With our first and second years being interrupted by the Coronavirus pandemic, the third year was uncertain, new, and quite strange. A lot of my friends commented that it didn’t feel like we were in our third year; it felt like this was first year continued, yet we still had the academic pressure of the final deadlines and hand-ins of our educational careers. It’s quite odd, in a way – we should have had three full years of this; built it up slowly; but with the interruption and the move to online learning and changes to the structure of exams and degrees, it’s a wonder we all made it this far.

At the start of the year, I did not like my degree. I thought I was going to complete the year, get a very average grade overall, and come out of university and find another career path. I was excited to socialise again, and for face-to-face teaching, and my course threw me a lifeline by allowing me to complete the law placement module, as well as the law clinic.

Due to in-person teaching again, third-year felt far more social. I met people that I somehow did not know were on my course, including my Law Clinic group, who were all lovely to work with during that module. I feel like I have strengthened friendships in my third year and got to know people I wish I had met years ago. I’m not saying that had the two previous year’s been ‘normal’ I would have met these people, sooner, just that this year feels a whole lot nicer, and yet this is the last chance.

I also feel much more grown-up as a person now that I am coming to the end of third-year. My confidence in my academics, social life, and well, myself, has grown hugely. And even though the end of the year is coming, and I am under a mountain of stress, I am in a much better place than this time last year, or this time the year before. My grades are much better, and I am more prepared for my exams. Third-year is weird, almost as if we have only just properly started again – and then we will all have to leave within the next few months.

There are a few things I enjoyed greatly this year. For one, being a part of student life has been incredibly fun. I wish I had joined it in first or second year, but was only aware of its existence during the summer of 2021. I also greatly enjoyed what I have learned this year; the modules have been really interesting, and my placement has restored my love of the law. I also thoroughly enjoyed my months living with my housemate; I just live with one other person, I have been her flatmate and friend since first year, but this year has been really valuable as we got to experience our house and play host due to no covid restrictions.

I am the Vice-President of Debate Society, and I thoroughly loved running a stall at the Societies fair. I was on the committee last year, but the buzz and atmosphere from talking to so many people and encouraging them to come along; and speaking to the other societies at the fair and meeting new people; was a really rewarding experience. I was so tired, but so so happy. With the society I also managed to organise several society socials, run sessions, and experience the society out of lockdown. I went to the law society socials and events, and socialised more. I have met so many new people this year. It has definitely made up for the last two years.

I am also somehow coming out of third year, after a global pandemic and several lockdowns, with a long-term relationship. This was important for me to include, as the stigma is a long-term relationship, with one or both at university, does not work. Lasting three years at university is incredible, and it proves it is doable, and that you can make it work.

Third Year Tips:

If you’re going into Third Year, here are some tips I wish I had told my second year self:

You are in your final year, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun

We have had far too long stuck locked in our houses. You are allowed to still go out, to be sociable – as long as those deadlines are met.

This one actually counts, and it’s not too late to turn it around.

Didn’t end your second year where you wanted? You can still get the grade you want in your degree. You are capable, you can be focused, and you can succeed – second year can still be a trial run. However, you still need to keep focused. It is another chance, but the last chance. You can do this, but not without hard work.

Make the most of the time you have with the people around you

I can’t believe my friends are leaving within the next few weeks. I have under a month left, and I am one of the last people to leave Lincoln. My time with my housemate, with my friends; in those seminars; I had loads of it. But now? I wish I could pause the clock!! Make sure you appreciate the little moments; anything from a nod to each other when you go into your rooms, or a little knock to check in on each other; a debate on whether or not you eat the cherry off a bakewell, or your friend shouting an inside joke at your window from the street. Appreciate everything that happens.

You made it this far, you can finish your degree

I know it has seemed like a long haul. But you have done first year and second year, you can do the third. You are going to feel terrified, but take it one day at a time, and you will get to the end of it.

It will fly by, and it will all be worth it.

My mum always said to me that at the start of something, you don’t feel ready for the next thing. But by the end of it, you are. If you think right now that you are not ready to complete third year, you’re right, you probably aren’t. But when you get there, you will be ready. You can do this. All the struggle, hard work and determination. It will all be worth it. I promise.

I hope you have a good end to your year, and I am wishing you all the best of luck with your exams, final deadlines and teaching sessions of second year, and hope that third year goes well!

Good vibes,

Bobbie