Taking a placement year in-between your uni degree is an amazing opportunity and I’d definitely advise taking that opportunity. However, getting back into the swing of uni life can came with its challenges:
When on placement your time management is up to you and you can plan it how you want; balancing your personal and work life to suit you perfectly. However, when at uni, lectures don’t wait for you and your timetable has already been pre decided. Normally it’s not too bad but you’ll still dread that first 9:00 am, even after the early starts of placement! It also makes balancing lecture and seminar prep work with your personal life tricky as well. You just need to plan your days effectively and efficiently to ensure that everything is covered.
Leaving work at work
On placement, as soon as you leave the office your time is yours and you can do anything you want. Back at uni, work is always on your mind; always thinking of essays or assignments that are due or thinking about lectures and seminars and all that preparation work you’re supposed to do! I’d advise trying to spend office hours at uni in the library to get all work done so you won’t have to bring it home, thus allowing you to leave all thoughts about uni work there.
When on placement you will get used to seeing your colleagues every day, chatting and socialising with them but then all of a sudden you leave, and you just send a quick message every now and then or a comment on social media. For me that was the hardest thing to get used to. I’d advise keeping in touch and maybe visit them at their universities. On the plus side, you’ll get to see all the uni friends that you made in first and second year and have a good old catch up. You’ll be able to compare placement stories and go back to enjoying uni life.
When I was on placement, I had an hour and a half commute each way which was long, but it made me lazy; I would drive everywhere. However, when back at uni access to a car is not as easy to come by, so get used to walking to and from uni and prepare for all weathers. That was definitely not what I looked forward to when I got back to uni, walking home in the rain for 40 minutes! No thank you.
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