This year has gone way too fast
Exams are over and the first year of my time at City is done! To say it has been a great experience would be an understatement. I've made so many great friends and have learnt such an insane amount in only 8 or 9 months.
From meeting and getting to know the people I spoke to in the fresher's group chats to being able to experience life as a student in central London (I don't actually live in central), I have definitely enjoyed this last year. All exams and coursework aside, juggling a part time job, uni work, free time and personal projects is one hell of a way to feel productive. And that's probably one of the most important things I think I've taken away from this last year; there is no reason to be bored. It's easy to get into habits of sitting and watching Netflix or just dossing around not really doing anything, but this last year I've really embraced not being lazy. Granted I'm still physically a slob as I'm really not a fan of sports. I like to think I'm mentally active though.
I really developed my programming skills too. I knew Python very well before starting City, but I've come out the other end with Java, Kotlin, NodeJS and ReactJS (from both uni modules and my own personal projects). As well as a much better understanding of the software development process as a whole, learning things like version control with Git and GitHub and continuous integration with branching and build tests.
Plans for year 2...
So year 2 will start in September. And a number of things are going to be happening. We of course will start new modules. This year we did Programming in Java, Business Systems (web development and databases), Discrete mathematics, Systems architecture, Algorithms, and Operating Systems.
Next year, as it stands, is looking at Data structures and algorithms, Programming in C++, Language Processors, Networks, Object Oriented Analysis and Design, Professional Development in IT and a team project.
As a sort of extra curricular project, myself and a few friends are going to be putting some finishing touches on the Programming Society before we begin hosting events at (hopefully) the start of the next academic year. We are currently all working on the website, which will act as a hub for all events and information.
I am also becoming a City Buddy, under the CityBuddy Mentor Scheme. I will be paired with 3 to 4 new undergrad Computer Science students as a way of them having a point of contact that has been through the first year of uni and will be able to answer any questions they may have about the course or life at university in general. I have also just been through the City Buddy Leader selection process and am waiting back for a response!
Around the start of year 2 I will also start looking for my work placement. The way my course is structured is that it's 4 years long (with a work placement) or 5 years long (with a work placement as well as a masters year). I am going to do the work placement, and am currently on the fence about the masters. The work placement takes place between years 2 and 3, so the 3rd year is deferred to allow a year in industry. Not entirely sure what companies or what areas of computing in particular I want to look at going into yet, but I have time to look around and decide.
To sum up the first year of university...
You are worked in ways that aren't just academic. You are tested mentally as a person. But it forces you to change and adapt and I've grown personally as a result. On to year 2! I just hope it doesn't go by as fast.