So, we are now into March, this is where the pressure really starts to kick in for all of us. Group work deadlines approaching, presentations dates just around the corner and the library virtually full of frustrations trying to borrow high demand books.
During these weeks I felt it was crucial to make the most of the study rooms in AMBS as they provide a peaceful and calm environment with which to focus and really gather myself together with the pressure on my shoulders at the moment. Fair to say that as some of you in AMBS may have experienced, it's tough obtaining a room especially when you arrive in AMBS midday for example. To get these rooms I had to be willing to wake up early and arrive in AMBS around 8/9 am, tough yes but with persistence, this eventually became routine for me. I strongly encourage asking those inside if you can study inside with them. Not everyone will instantly say 'no', that's not the case. Some actually do not mind, but you have to brave and courageous to ask them in the first place. I had a mindset to make the most of this new AMBS building, it is very spacious and the rooms are there for us to take advantage of!
This month also provides us with the opportunity to go up and beyond with our assignments and do further research with the resources available to us in the library. Spending most of my time in AMBS, I often looked around the library during my break periods just to see if there were some books (not necessarily in my course reading list) that were relevant to my research and independent studies. A lot of the time I managed to find them. Come the date of my presentation late in March I earned praise from my Lecturer and Seminar leader by relating content from this book to the module. It's moments like these, just taking a few mins to go around the library at AMBS or use the Bloomberg terminal in the PC cluster room to can take your grade to the next level.
There were signs that I was starting to struggle and suffer from exhaustion, thereby I opted to once again take a weekend away from Manchester and visit two friends at Aston University and University of Birmingham respectively. I enjoyed it, being around them helped create an environment with which I could relax my head again. Birmingham is a city developing at a very fast rate just like Manchester. Well worth trying to network over there as well as in Manchester. The two cities have opportunities in abundance for all of us. A lot of hidden treasures to like this graffiti art I found. It was eye-opening for sure and really helped refresh my mind for what was set to be some tense weeks academically.
March in Singapore with multiple extracurricular activities
Similar to my time in Manchester, around this period we see open days occurring and opportunities to work and help the University departments. In this case the University of Singapore was having multiple open days and events and I was asked if I could help and participate being an exchange student. I feel from my experience it's worth stressing that by no means are we obliged to accept every opportunity given to us. If we feel overwhelmed then it's best we decline otherwise the stress builds up over time and the struggle to keep up with all our commitments can be detrimental to us mentally and academically hence I declined in this case. We have priorities and for this month, it is our assignments and academic research that should be taking 1st position. Make sure you don't compromise that just for the sake of extra-curricular activities. Yes, they are impressive on the CV but if you know you would struggle to meet the requirements, it is better to leave it alone. We want to be known as someone whose reliable rather than untrustworthy.