I have officially completed my first POP101 assignment, and what a mission that was! After all the stress and tears, I finally came to two conclusions – the conclusion of my actual essay, and the conclusion that University assessments ain’t no joke!
The general gist of my assignment was to discuss different primary care options for a student named Rosie – and long story short, by the end of my essay, the name Rosie definitely had a bad connotation attached to it. Not because the assignment was horrible or anything, but because seeing the name Rosie 50 billion times and releasing how many valuable words I lost in my word count due to that name, was heartbreaking.
But all in all, after all the highs and lows that the experience of creating my first piece of University work offered me, I decided to cram it all into blog form – because who doesn’t love things in blog form? So please, go forth and read of my experience as a student trying to pretend she knows exactly what she’s doing in the hopes of doing well! (Jk… but not really.)
Man was this a task and a half! Word of advice (to you guys, and my future self) do your readings as soon as you get your task sheet! Readings, in terms of an assignment are journal articles or e-books that are recommended by your lecturers to help you gather evidence for your essay, and are also they key to writing something successful. I found that throughout this assignment, the readings were my best friends. I must admit, we got off to a rocky start – meaning that I skimmed through the readings in a half asleep state and highlighted anything that resembled a sentence I understood. DO NOT DO THIS. After attempting this kind of “passive reading”, I thought I was ready to get into the bulk of my essay – and oh how wrong I was. It wasn’t until I finally realised that thoroughly reading, comprehending and making decent notes on the text was the right way to go, that I felt I could actually present some kind of valid argument in my essay.
Referencing at University can be a bit of a traumatic experience. Every full stop, every space and every comma matters, and it’s crazy. However writing out the references for me wasn’t the worst, it was coming to the realisation that the references in your essay, which make reference back to your references in your reference list (reference – I just had to say it one more time), actually count in your word-count. I literally had to have a cry and a breather before removing a whole paragraph from my essay to make room for my referencing. Please learn from my mistakes.
Office hours, library workshop and tutorials:
For POP101 assignments, the course is really great in that they coordinate with Library Services to put on workshops, which help students in areas of the assignment that can be tricky, such as structuring academic essays at a University level or referencing. On top of offering these extra workshops, they also provide office hours. Office hours are pretty much times either before or after a lecture, where you can meet with a tutor or a lecturer and ask questions about an assignment or even just normal lecture content. I found that going to the Library workshops in conjoint with an office hours session, was absolutely fabulous and definitely helped me in the grey areas I had with this assignment. I’m also apart of MAPAS – a program that provides all kinds of support for Maori and Pacific students looking at a career in health at the UoA – and through them, another tutorial was offered to help students with this assignment. Moral of the story – even though University assessments are a bit daunting, there are resources provided by the University to help you, so utilise them!!
Overall experience and feeling towards assessment:
In terms of how this assignment compared to High School assessments, was quite different. I loved English, and I’m sad to admit it, but the style of writing is nothing like Level 2 and Level 3 English. However I will say, the skills I gained from my critical essay writing in Level 3 English came in handy when I eventually went through the readings. Word count is also a big thing at University which took me by surprise and caused a break-down or two – so be prepared to write succinct sentences and remove the word ‘the’ whenever possible.
However, despite all my previous winging about referencing and word counts, I actually enjoyed the content of the assignment! I guess this kind of ties back to my first blog, in that, although the work is difficult, it’s interesting and it’s stuff you like! The lecturers and tutors of POP101 are also engaging and knowledgeable, which I found helpful. It was also pretty snazzy to write everything out, read it back, and realise how much understanding and insight I gained from writing just a single essay – mind = blown.
So look forward to the challenge of University assignments – she’s a beauty!
BUT WAIT! Before I disappear for the next two weeks, can I please ask a favour of every reader who gets to this point in my blog – can you pretty please leave me a question/s you may have about Uni, studying, being away from home, or the like, in the comments! And hopefully with your guys questions and stuff I make up, I’ll be able to make a video for my next blog and answer everything!
Until next time my fellow blogies! xx