The Third Year Reflection

Sunday, 6 August 2017
One of my best blogging and IRL buds, Leda, recently wrote this great blog post about her third year of university. I really enjoyed reading it and it reminded me that I haven't really written anything about my university life in a while. When I was in high school I used to write weekly updates about my life but I've let that fall by the wayside so I don't feel that my blog is as personal as it used to be. So consider this a tribute to Leda's post and a reflection on my third year of university.

Third year has been really fucking difficult in terms of class and I'm not even ashamed to say I've had the worst grades I've ever had this year. Of course, I'd like to have done better but I genuinely don't think I could have worked any harder. Despite not having the grades to show it, I feel a lot more confident in my abilities. Especially with lab work. I'm doing my placement year which is worth the same % of my degree as the third year, so hopefully, I can boost myself up a little with my grades this year. If not, worse things have happened. 

Industrial Placement
A fairly huge part of my degree is the option to do an industrial placement instead of the 4th year at university. Nobody is guaranteed one and I went through a lot of stressful applications and interviews but I'm really glad to say I managed to get my first choice (I still can't believe it) which is why I'm now living and working in the USA! I wanted to get this post out the way before I right an update on the move but I'm having such a blast so I'm really glad that I put the work into organising a placement. 

Third year was a great year for me in terms of travel. Just before the semester started I took a trip to Denmark and Sweden. Then I did a road trip to Inverness and the Isle of Skye during the second semester. Followed by a day trip to York. Then to celebrate exams finishing, I visited Berlin, Rome and Riga all in the space of three weeks! So maybe that's why I did so badly this year. Just kidding, that shitty Hückel Theory question is why I did so badly. 

Third year meant we all took the same straight chemistry courses, so I think that I grew even closer with my chemistry friends which was sweet. I even launched a semesterly wine and cheese night that I'd like to keep going here in Connecticut. I also hosted a Galentines day event which was so much fun. I called it the Galentines Bonanza Bake-Off (GBBO of course) and everyone brought a baked item, I dressed up as Paul Hollywood and it was a great laugh. I'm going to miss everyone so much over the next year but I also can't wait to see what my friends get up to as we're totally spread across the globe.

My third year flat was probably the biggest that I've stayed in since starting university and I loved it. I had a huge room with a walk in wardrobe and a lovely bookshelf. Our kitchen had a fantastic view of Arthur's Seat - even if it was painted an obnoxiously bright green. I hosted parties, wine and cheese nights, had Anastasia to stay for New Years and had a lot of good memories in that flat. Some friends are staying in it this year whilst we are all away on our adventures and I hope they have the best time.

My blog hasn't grown a huge amount over the year but I'm really trying to focus on self-improvement rather than self-promo at the moment. The biggest change has been changing my blog's name from Water Painted Dreams to Honestly Russell, which is maybe something that I should write a whole blog post about. But basically, Water Painted Dreams was a phrase that I made up when I was 14 because I thought it sounded cool. Honestly Russell came to me one day when I was walking home from uni and I just knew that it was going to be my new name. It just felt right. So far I'm loving it and I've managed to grow my blog's DA back to 17 already - it's climbing faster than I thought it would! 

In the words of Bowling for Soup, Third year, you're a bitch but I love you anyway.

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