Final Fresher’s Blog

by Tanya Brown on 2 July 2015

Well, as expected my first year has flown by in a haze of books, friends, occasional fun and a lot of revision.

Easter term was probably my toughest term, we only attended lectures for a few weeks, and some lectures had finished in Lent. In Biological Anthropology we were lectured on malnutrition in humans, discussing factors such as poverty that may contribute to this endemic and emotive topic. This topic particularly interested me, and I’ve started reading the book ‘Nudge’ by Thaler and Sustein which reviews the ways in which certain triggers or ‘nudges’ can influence a multiplicity of decisions such as diet. Interestingly, this has motivated me to apply for internships in Behavioural Economics and I have already started researching Masters programmes in this field. The Cambridge University Careers Service have a website that is used to publish jobs relevant to us as student or for recent graduates, having worked in Recruitment I know some of the companies that are great to work for, and the Cambridge Careers Service has them!

The purpose of Easter Term is to revise for our end of year exams. In first year all of our assessments are exam based, in second and third year you sometimes have the choice to do a dissertation.  Most of my conversation was about revision techniques, and I tried to get as much of an idea as I could as to how best prepare myself for the exams. When I was younger I didn’t really revise all that much, and only whilst doing my Access to HE course, did I really have to knuckle down, as such I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do and how to do it. My younger course friends from standard age colleges were great, they really knew what they were doing and I found a solution that worked best for me which was based around using lecture notes, my own notes from readings, then any further reading I needed, I then made flash cards and mind maps; the latter two involved lots of different colours, so good stationary is highly recommended. As part of the Ents team, we decided it would be great to hold a ‘Revision Clinic’ for anyone who may have the same concerns as I did, this was attended by Academic and Tutorial staff as well as the very helpful Library team, and hopefully everyone came away with something useful.

As the exams approached I found that I was increasingly anxious about the format and ‘do’s and don’ts’, rumours always circulated, Oxford have to wear their gowns and have their hats present, whilst Cambridge is far more relaxed. One of the highlights of exams is finishing them, not because it is a relief but because as you walk outside you are greeted by crowds of people who are waiting for their friends who have finished their finals and will be sprayed with champagne. Some of the other years also get sprayed, I did, but luckily only with fizzy water, but this is such a nice feeling, to be able to celebrate the end of a stressful term with your friends who you know are there to support you. We all now have our results; I was aiming for a 2:i, which I am delighted to say I achieved, and I am so happy for all of my lovely friends who got the results they deserve.

For those of you who have read this blog throughout the year and will be joining Lucy or any other college, I wish you good luck. You will be worked hard, your minds will be changed, opinions altered, and sleep patterns derailed, but you will have the best time. Be prepared to work hard and make life long friends, and I hope to meet you next term (I am part of the team organising Freshers Week!!)