I remember my first day at uni like it was yesterday; I met one of my now best friend and so many amazing friends who I am still friends with today. When I started at university of Hertfordshire we were kept so busy that some of us had to receive a message on the notice board to say:
“…Call your mother…she is worried”
Though embarrassing we had a very good laugh about it. If there a few things that I could share with new or prospective students its:
· Best friend or not never ever share your work – I know this will come out as harsh but remember you both went there to learn not to be there 2nd teacher. Also you do not know if that person is going to respect you enough to just take the idea and not actually copy your hard work – this is plagiarism and at university this is very serious, you could get discredited for life I dare say.
· Play hard and work hard – find a balance, this is very important. I know many people go into first year thinking “it does not count”. Yes is does not count towards your final grading but if you want to do placements during university this is all the potential employer has plus if God forbid you didn’t make the final mark to pass final year, you could get discretional points but only if they have seen from year one till final year you proved that you were hard working. Partying at uni is not against your learning, its part and parcel but you need to find that balance. I partied as hard as I studied, if I went party 3 nights in a row I studied three nights in a row without fail plus I had two jobs at the time to support myself.
· Choose friends wisely – I know the first few weeks are hard because you’re in new environment, meeting new people making friends etc. but you need to start looking for people who are there to learn (and have fun second) and will help advance together in learning. Some people you may already know from college or school but it does not mean you only stick with them; make some new ones too.
· Plan – I cannot emphasize enough how important planning is. When you start uni they are literally spoon feeding you in first term.2nd term they expect maturity and they expect results, suss out what you good at, what needs work and what you need to memorise. The “memorise” part sounds silly but there are just things that no matter what they fell to stick these are sometimes the things that come in exams.
· Attend ALL lectures – when I started we figured that we had 24 IBMAP (Introduction to Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Pharmacology) classes and attending 12 was good enough. I was fortunate to have read and researched all the lectures that when it was exam time I knew my stuff even the classes I did not attend because I made the effort. Some people I know struggled very much and the worst thing to happen was repeating first year, if you struggle with first year which is mostly like final year of A-levels think how much work you need to put into second year also they may want you to repeat first year. Attend all lectures, if you can’t borrow slides (even notes from “good friends” – the ones that went to learn not to party all day and night”.
These are some of my top 5 tips for new university students and even returning students, I hope you find them useful. Don’t forget to enter the curry’s PC world competition to be in with a chance to win a laptop.