Blog post

Reflections as a final-year student

By Oviya Thirumalai - 1 July 2022

Hi, I’m Oviya, I’m a third-year Creative Writing and Photography student here at the University of Derby.

The last couple of months as a final year student have been a hurricane of emotions. I’ve been stressing over deadlines, having put them off. I’ve also been feeling the pressure of trying to find a graduate job, hoping to secure one before my upcoming graduation.

I’ve been feeling sentimental at the thought of never being a student here again, and of these amazing three years coming to an end. I’m excited about venturing out into the real world, as daunting as it is. I am happy, yet sad for this academic year to be ending.

The journey I’ve been on over the past three years has been some of the best years of my life. I’ve grown so much as a person. From having to cope with living away from home for the first time and trying to deal with adulthood. To trying to motivate myself to attend classes and keep a track of my coursework. Then came the pandemic. I struggled to overcome the challenges of remaining motivated, and the experience of online lectures. But I’m pleased to say that I rose to the challenge.

How I thrived at Derby

Now, in my third and final year, things have somehow been even more eventful, but I’ve loved every moment of this ride. Dissertations, passion projects, lectures, and coursework have challenged me intellectually every day. I celebrated my 21st birthday and adapted to new ways of working following the pandemic. I’ve struggled with workloads, and worried about the future, but realise these feeling are natural.

The University has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and reach out to our local Derby community, as well as the student community. I’ve befriended more people this year alone than in my first two years!

I’ve taken up different jobs within the University. I handed out flyers with Domino’s Pizza on Open Days, helped escort and guide guests at the November graduation, and the most rewarding of them all - my Student Communications Ambassador role. This role has allowed me to contribute back to students. I’ve been given the chance to leave my mark on this University.

A stable anchor

I started university with little idea about academia, but it’s Derby and the University itself that has kept me here. I’ve particularly loved Markeaton Park, which is only a few minutes’ walk away from both the sites where I attend lectures. It helped me feel more connected with nature.

The University amazed me with the stunning architecture and its use of natural light, the beautiful views and the library. Oh, my goodness the library! I never thought I would want to spend a night in the library working, yet I have enjoyed the three times I have done it!

I’ve lived in both halls and private accommodation and have found a home because of this city, and the stable anchor of the University in my life. I have met one of my best friends, along with lecturers and mentors who have inspired and changed my life. All with whom I hope to be able to keep in contact long after I graduate.

The University of Derby is a part of my life that I’m not ready to let go of yet, but all too soon I will be done here. Yet I know that the memories, friends, connections, and lessons learned here will accompany me for the rest of my life. The University of Derby will always hold a special place in my heart and, for it, I am grateful.

About the author

Creative Writing student Oviya Thirumalai.

Oviya Thirumalai
Creative Writing and Photography student

I'm a third-year Creative Writing and Photography student. I am also one of the student communications ambassadors. 

I have been writing poetry for nearly a decade now and I absolutely love it. I hope to work in film/television one day as a writer. You can find me obsessing over Gilmore Girls, Inuyasha, Teen Wolf and Hamilton.