In My Opinion: Lisa-Nicole Mitchell: Starting my fourth and final year

SO, here we go again, sadly for the last time.

Now, I am in fourth year at Edinburgh Napier University. It only seems like yesterday that I was sheepishly making friends in Fountainbridge halls. I feel like there is going to be a lot of reminiscing and nostalgia this year.

I made my way from Glasgow to the infamous flat on Tuesday, to start on Wednesday. The induction day had made me anxious but rather excited to start my last year.

This trimester, my modules are newsroom practice and research, professional development and entrepreneurship and, of course, dissertation – maybe the most daunting of them all.

Monday was a Bank Holiday, so our first class was professional development and entrepreneurship. We have only had one class and there are hiccups already. The whole point of the module is to focus on work experience. There are people on our course, however, who haven’t done any, so there are two ways you can do the assessment.

One way is to do a 4,000-word essay about your work experience, which must be at least 15 days, and the other is to do a 5,000-word essay on your skills and knowledge. Not everyone is happy that work experience saves only 1,000 words.

I can see where they are coming from. I, myself, have done a sizeable amount of work experience.

The newsroom practice and research module is coming up tomorrow. As I understand it, we’ll be split into groups and will have to work together on an upcoming newsday in different fields of journalism, such as online, broadcast, radio, etc.

The one module that everyone is worried about is the dissertation. It is spread over the two terms so as to give us enough time to research and write the 10,000 words. I have been planning all summer for it. We have until week five to hand in our proposal and I am sitting here with 25 ideas.

As I explained last term, my favourite module of third year was literary journalism and one of my favourite writers was Martha Gellhorn, the renowned war correspondent and, I admit grudgingly, probably more famous for being Ernest Hemingway’s third wife. Gellhorn was a fantastic writer and did so much for war reporting, for literary journalism and women. During the summer, I read one of her books and watched a documentary and a biopic on her. I find her, and her work, fascinating, so most likely my dissertation question will feature her.

Another very interesting topic this year will be the question of Masters and PhD’s for next year. Turns out, I love student life so much that I can’t give it up just yet!

Lisa-Nicole Mitchell is a fourth-year student at Edinburgh Napier University.