Looming over this summer has been those big two words – Third Year. Capital T, capital Y. It’s the one everyone talks about, fears, fixates on. And then all of a sudden it kicks off and you realise it’s actually not that different to every other year. We create our own levels of pressure and importance which is of course a good thing because in terms of grades and weightings this year is the most significant, it’s worth 60% of our final mark. But there is no need for the stress levels and panic to suddenly drastically sky-rocket just because of this. It is simply a case of finding the fun and the interest in the work and this immediately takes away that fear factor and sense of being overwhelmed. For me personally the start to this year has been a little crazy because I was overjoyed last year to be made President of Spotlights Theatre society which has meant a lot of extra work taken on. In freshers week I organised a whole bunch of events to get new students involved and am now helping direct and write a huge showcase engaging with new and old theatre kids who get involved with the society, it’s a pretty full on role but so much fun. The balance between this and degree is crucial but I am used to juggling all these things so it hasn’t been overwhelming or affected my course at all. What I have noticed most starkly this year is that, in terms of content and the work being set, this is my favourite year so far. I imagine it’s a combination of the last two years of learning paying off and the work being more selected and tailored to individual students but suddenly the reading feels challenging but accessible, I’m managing to tackle and unpack the concepts we encounter and getting real pleasure out of it! Not to say this didn’t happen in first and second year, but by now it comes much more naturally and is something that feels less and less like work. For my Special Subject, which is a unit we are allowed to choose from a HUGE long list of specialisms, I am studying Contemporary British Theatre (you’re getting the idea that I’m quite into my drama from this post I’m guessing!) which is fantastic and really different to anything I’ve studied before. Alongside this very modern, contemporary work I am doing Literature 3 which is the literature from 1700-1850. So a total contrast created there which is what makes the work feel so different and interesting when studied alongside each other. It’s brilliant to have a sense of autonomy and choice in your third year, when you’re finally trained and educated enough to make those decisions over what you study yourself! The year has certainly kicked off with a bang, from organising freshers events so they get involved with Spotlights, putting on three different shows within the same few weeks, going and seeing post-modern theatre as part of my course and discussing the works of female poets in the 18th century it couldn’t be a more diverse, fascinating and ram-packed term if it tried. Which, if you hadn’t already figured out, is just the way I like it!