You’ve received your results and you’ve gotten in to University. First of all, well done! Whether you had to go through clearing or were accepted into your first choice, you should feel proud of yourself.
Now it’s time to get excited, and if your anything like me, super nervous. I didn’t really enjoy high school and for me I was worried in case university became a repeat of that.
Will I make friends? What should I do on the first day? Will I be able to cope?
I’ve just finished my first year studying and as part of my Student Life series, I thought I would share with your some advice before you embark on your new adventure. I’ve also spoken about how to save money as a student and my experience of first year so make sure you give them a read as well!
This might sound stupid but some people get so caught up in worrying about not making friends that they never actually converse with anyone. Remember that everyones in the same boat as you.Your all worried about making friends, so go ahead and say hello. If you’re stood waiting for a lecture and someone asks if anyone knows what it’s about, answer them (even if you say you don’t know).
On the very first day of my course we had an introductory lecture. I got to the lecture theatre early and when I walked in I saw a girl sitting on her own. I guess the adrenaline kicked in because I walked over, said hello and sat down. Straight away she said hi to me and we got speaking about how nervous we both were and became friends.
Lots of people drop out of university or change courses after the first year so being on friendly terms with a lot of people will stop you suddenly finding yourself completely alone If your one and only friend transfers.
2. Create a dedicated time slot for studying into your weekly schedule.
There is a lot of work that goes in to university. You will more than likely be getting a lot of homework, coursework and exams you need to be revising for. Setting out dedicated time out of your week to do any homework or catch up on notes you’ve missed will stop you falling behind on any work. This is especially important if you’re planning on having a part time job outside of studies.
I had five modules a semester and each module had around 20-30 lectures, each consisting of about 25 lecture slides. That’s a lot of stuff to get through before exams and a lot to remember. Setting aside time each week to go through that week’s lecture slides will make revision a lot easier.
3. Spend time on your coursework
Most courses will have at least some coursework included. I’m studying biology so we have a lot of coursework in the form of laboratory practical’s. Whether the coursework is worth 50% or 5%, I would highly advice you to do it to the best of your ability. Many of my peers got low marks or even failed their exams but because they had good coursework, it pulled them up and saved them from having to resit.
On the other hand, bad coursework can let you down. Think of coursework as a safety cushion. If you know you have 10% of your final module mark in the bag then you’ll feel a lot more relaxed when it comes to the exam. Most of my exams also questioned you on the coursework material, so doing it well is definitely a big help.
4. Say yes to more
I struggle with this myself. Whenever I get asked to go to anything involving a lot of social interaction I immediately decline. I spent the fist year of uni really trying to overcome this and towards the end of the year I was going out more often and made some amazing memories with amazing people.
Of course, you should never feel pressured into doing something you don’t want to do. Also, never say yes to something that you’re uncomfortable with. But, if you friends ask you to go for food and you think you’d enjoy it but that voice inside you’re head is telling you to panic and say no, try fighting it. The one thing I regret in life the most is not saying yes and going out more.
5. If your have a passion for something, go for it!
Whether this applies to the course your doing or a hobby you have, take these 3/4 years to delve into your passion. You’re at a time in your life where you have a lot of free time and a lot of resources available to you, so use them! I’m doing this right now by blogging. If you really want to get into a certain career then talk with your uni’s career advisor or even email members of staff about potential work experience.
The people you are surrounded by want you to succeed and are ready and willing to help. You are entering a time of your adult life where you are probably the most free you will ever be, so make the most of it!
These next few years will shape your future.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Later on in the year I will be posting some revision tips ready for exam season. Make sure you follow to be notified when I post!