New Year Reflections

It's that time of year again when we make resolutions for the year ahead but I'm keen to reflect on the last year before leaving it behind. So what were the best bits of 2015 in the world of the Smiling Sociologist?

Third year 
Undoubtedly my favourite year of my Sociology degree, all I had learnt up until this point culminated in a dissertation which I was in full control of (hurrah)! Pursuing my research interest of gender, specifically female farmers, getting into the field to carry out my own research and achieving a first class degree made the blood, sweat and tears of ethics forms, the methodological minefield and insomia worth it! Did you catch my Dissertation Diaries?

Despite deciding to continue with my studies at York, this was a memorable and sentimental occasion for sure! A celebration of three years hard graft with my nearest and dearest allowed them to get a taste for the environment I had become so fond of. Not forgetting an excuse to wear a fancy dress...need I say more!

Unbelievably I volunteered in a student seminar series to give a presentation to staff and students about the findings of my dissertation and subsequently was asked to speak in a lecture for 2nd year students about embarking on the dissertation. This was certainly a bold move for me after the anxiety I'd experience before, after and during presenting in class. I relished being able to share my work and enthuse others about my topic, not to mention gaining confidence in speaking in front of an audience (of 40+) with clarity. 

My blog 
2015 was the year I finally had the confidence to start the blog I had always vowed to and it proved the saviour of my Summer! Providing an opportunity to explore my writing, an outlet for my interests outside module choices and a great talking point: it was a beneficial move! I've been overwhelmed by positive comments so far and look forward to continuing to develop my sociological snippets this year. Follow me @smilingsocio to keep updated!

My MA 
Starting a new course was a tough decision but was the right progression for me. I was ready for a new challenge, to explore my passion for social research methods further and to improve the weaknesses I had pushed to the side. A more applied way of working will hopefully set me up for a future career within or outside of academia whilst making achievements along the way.  Take a look at my MA motivations if you're thinking about postgrad study or if you're baffled by my course: What is Social Research?

Wishing all readers a prosperous new year and thank you for your encouragement in 2015!