This year at university was definitely different to what I expected. This was due to COVID-19 meaning all my lectures and learning was done online from my desk in my room. I found this a lot harder than I initially thought it would be as I have not been used to working in these circumstances every day. However, it got easier throughout the year, and I feel this is refelcted in my grades.
The modules I took this year were; Analysis of Biology Data, Exploitation of the Sea, Wildlife Disease, Biodiversity and Conservation, Ocean and Human Health, Biology of Aquatic Vertebrates, and Marine Ecology. From the results I have already received, I have been achieving 2:1 and 1st grades throughout both semesters. I have been extremely happy with these grades and has shown me that all the hard work I have put into this year has been worth it, and I am hoping to finish this year with a 2:1.
Due to COVID, I have been unable to go onto campus to complete any practical sessions in the labs. This has meant that all my practical sessions have also been online. This was not too much of a disadvantage though, as I still have been able to complete lab reports to a high standard. This has been helped with the module Analysis of Biology Data. I learnt to use the analytical programming software called “R”, which I then used throughout many of my assignments in my other modules.
The funding I have received from The Meadowsweet Scholarship has allowed me to have extra support for certain things such as my rent and food shopping. By having this extra support, I have not had to be worried about finding a part-time job to cover any additional costs, allowing me to completely focus on my degree.
When I am not doing my uni work, I have enjoyed going swimming and snorkelling in the sea, which I have really enjoyed and will continue to do during the summer when I am at home and during third year.
The next steps for me will be proceeding into my third year, where I will be completing my dissertation. I am hoping to do it on the maintenance of marine habitats, such as coral or seagrass, or marine protected areas and how this may have an influence on certain marine species. I am also thinking of staying on to complete a master’s at the University of Exeter after my final year, so I will be looking into this and researching my options.
I would like to thank you for your support throughout my first two years at university, and I look forward to keeping you updated during my third year.