Having just received my second year results, I am finally and officially in my third and final year of BSc (Hons) Economics with the University of London International Programmes in Pakistan. I find it hard to fathom that I am already in my final year, hardly a few months (10 months, to be more specific) away from being an undergraduate student to becoming a graduate.
It feels like only yesterday when I joined this programme in 2013, and here I am, already choosing the final four courses of my degree. Time passes by like this; snapping your fingers while you read this would be a good idea. And while I am excited about being a step higher on the career ladder, to be honest, I have always been the studious kind, and I cannot imagine myself working rather than studying. For me, studying is not just merely reading from a book; it means gaining knowledge, learning new theories, interacting and exchanging ideas with scholarly professors and students from all walks of life, and developing as a person. While working in an office can also give you some, if not all, of the above mentioned, it goes without saying that I am going to miss being stuck in my room, studying and pulling all-nighters.
Coming back to the two years gone by that you just snapped your fingers about, I really wish I had started blogging as I started my degree, but anyhow, better late than never, right? Since this is my first post, I would like to use this opportunity to share my experience with the University of London International Programmes so far. This goes out to all the current and prospective students of the UOL International Programmes, because I know it feels great when you read something you can relate to and use it to share different perspectives, or maybe even help you in getting a new perspective.
My first year was a beautiful experience, I must say. I might have disagreed to this at that time, but now that I look back, I do not think I can put it into better words. Going straight from A level to joining this degree was a great leap forward in itself, let alone the competitiveness of this degree. I was new to this programme, this programme was new to me, so my first year involved a lot of familiarisation with the entire programme, degree and the courses, adjusting to a new place, new people, new professors, setting goals, building studying strategies, and committing myself to this degree for the years that lay ahead of me. So for all the first years out there, make the most of your first year, and soak in every bit of it, because this is where your journey begins. Do not take it lightly though, for this programme requires a lot of careful planning, studying, putting in an ample amount of hours, and of course, hard-work! For some tips that you will definitely find useful, refer to Oscar’s ‘Making a good start with Introduction to Economics’ where you will find seven tips on how to study better for a particular course, but is applicable to other courses as well. It sure is challenging, but that being said, it is definitely not impossible. It may seem daunting at first, but hey look! Here I am, at the beginning of the end, safe and sound!
The transition from my first year to the second was a roller coaster ride. From cramming for my first ever UOL exams, which I cannot go by without mentioning those sleepless nights and caffeine overdoses (for all you tea addicts, tea is not going to be your friend during your exams; black coffee is the key), to waiting for the results, which is the worst part by the way.
But soon the wait was over, and I was welcomed into my second year by a more familiar environment. Being in my second year had its own significance. It was that time of the entire programme, where I had settled in well, blended in with the structure of the programme, and knew my way around into succeeding once again. During this time, I was aware of my strengths and weaknesses. I capitalised on my strengths and improved on my weaknesses, avoided mistakes that I made in my first year, and developed new and improved studying strategies.
And now here I am, in my third year. I have already thought this through and decided which courses I will be taking this year. Having a more mathematical approach in life, I have opted for Further Mathematics for Economists as one of my courses. However, to retain the diversity in my courses, I have also opted for Economic Geography, a course that I hope will give me a different perspective about economics. So some advice to my fellow final year mates would be to pick your courses wisely. Choose those courses that you have wanted to take, but that are relevant to your degree and the requirements that you have to fulfil of course. Since this is your final year, you do not want to miss out on any course that you will wish you had opted for later on.
Right now it is that time of the year when we are all recovering from our vacation mode. So let’s turn that studying mode on and nail it once again!
Zara is studying the BSc (Hons) Economics at a recognised teaching institution, University College of Islamabad (UCI), in Islamabad, Pakistan