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    (Original post by Dougieowner)
    It's been all over the place for me; there are times when I love my university experience, and times when I hate it. I really like Durham as a place and I've met some really good friends, but I never actually know what to think about my course (French and Spanish). It's a strange course because only 1/3 of it is actually languages stuff (grammar, translation, speaking), so I don't think I've improved significantly in my linguistic abilities over the past year. I think they're relying on the year abroad to boost students' abilities, rather than focusing a lot on languages classes. The rest of my lectures are "cultural modules", which are about foreign literature and film. Sometimes it feels like I'm doing English Literature but in another language... At times I like it but overall I think there's too much of a focus on these cultural modules (plus some of the modules I did this year have been very historical, and I'm not great at that kind of stuff). I've found these modules pretty stressful, particularly around exam time - I just don't feel that exams are the best way to test someone's knowledge of literature.

    Also my coursework essays have been quite inconsistent - I've had low 2:1s, high 2:1s, and a 1st. The marking seems very dependant on the individual lecturer, and some are significantly harsher than others and seem overly critical. I'm hoping that it will help in the long run and I'll work on the criticism, but initially when I got some of the feedback it was a bit overwhelming (not helpful too that some of the lecturers seem to write sarcastic comments on the work...)

    I think I'll probably enjoy second year more than first year. I'll be living in a rented house with three of my friends (sometimes the collegiate system at my university feels a bit institutional and it'll be nice to have a bit more freedom). Plus the modules I'm taking next year sound so much more interesting than the ones in first year (there was a greater choice as well, so I'm happy I don't have to study anything about medieval languages and literatures (that is, if I get my module choices)).
    1) It is not uncommon for language degrees to focus on 1/3 of the language. My uni is the exact same that has 3-5 language degrees. My best mate also studies French and says it's the exact same. He had about 2 modules out of 6 that were French Language modules. The rest were English linguistics and French history/culture modules.

    2) You are right that unis expect you to develop your language during year abroad. Think of it like this: your degree is like learning to drive, you have to pass your theory in order to be deemed as appropriate to take your practical. It's the same case for your degree - the first two years are you theory; learning concepts and elements of language and history then all this knowledge will be tested during your practical when you visit the country. I think that's the way you have got to see it. I think it would be so overwhelming to have all your modules about Foreign Language when you haven't really come to blows with their actual country if that makes sense? Enjoy the theory as much as you can in 2nd year.

    3) Your grades are from 60-70%... That's only a 10% mark... That is not classed as inconsistent. That is above average. The average of 1st year marks is 55%. So you're doing fantastic if you're in the 60-70% range.

    4). If you feel like the marking and comments are unnecessary, then I'd advise you to speak to your subject/student rep about this and make sure something is done about it. If nothing i done about this, talk to your academic advisor and make them look into it. Failing that, go to the Student Union's Education/Academic Officer and get them involved. Any sarcastic comments is utterly unprofessional and can really knock many students' confidence level down.

    It sounds to me like you'll enjoy your course at second year more like most do as 1st year is just to get everyone else to the same level before the work really counts in the other years.
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    (Original post by The Empire Odyssey)
    1) For pretty much all universites, the Humanities gets severely neglected because of the reason you pointed out. That's just the way it is unfortunately.

    2) First year is to make sure everyone gets the same set of skills that is needed for future years. It's about getting everyone to a peak point. Then when it comes to 2nd and 3rd year, that's when uni will really test you.

    3) Most tutors are not inspiring and most who are were teachers prior to becoming lecturers (in my experience).

    4) Sixth Form was all about spoon feeding. There is more of a community feel to sixth form - everyone knows each other, teachers like the pupils etc. But uni is way more corporate. You just get on with what you need to do and that's what everyone's mindset is like. It's more independent and since humanities gets less contact hours, there is less time to form bonds and friendship with coursemates during seminars and lectures. It's also another backlash humanities' students go through at uni.

    Don't let all this deter your from the reason you applied for uni. During 2nd and 3rd years, you get to pick more optional modules that you can specialise in which is tailored to your needs and interests.
    Plus you get to meet more like-minded people in these years as your friendship group starts to narrow just because people outgrow each other and learn more about themselves and decide to go their separate ways.

    Forget about 1st year, and look towards the future.
    I'm wary of the number of generalisations you have made. My sixth form did not 'spoon feed' me anything and I resent the term. My level of independence has not changed throughout my schooling. I get my work done, I don't doddle, I don't go to 'work' to socialise - I go there to work. I barely saw my classmates at sixth form because we had very few contact hours, almost as little as at university but my department were organised and far more professional than my department at university - that is embarrassing, for the uni, that is.

    The optional modules at my university are also piss-poor. We had an enormous list of modules open to us advertised when we applied - more than half of those options are no longer available for no good determined reason and were taken off the site just a week before we had to make our module selections. So me and my fellow students have been cheated. My department then had the nerve to change our module reading lists almost entirely after we made our selections, which we are now bound to.

    You say the first year is for levelling the playing field and getting everyone to learn the necessary skills for their second and third year - what skills? I haven't acquired anything I would consider skillful in my first year and yet you say, forget it all and look forward? That's counter-intuitive. If I was supposed to have learned so much this year to prepare for my next two years, why would I then forget everything so far? The nonsense I've endured should only prepare me for the worst next year.

    My university has done an appalling job this year and I won't make excuses for them. They should be ashamed of themselves, honestly. The only consolation I've had is knowing that every other English student that I know in person has the very same opinion of our department and course as I do. I have stopped complaining out loud about it because nothing is being done, I've sent my complaints - some of my fellow students, however have marched right into our department fuming about the way we have been treated and many have dropped out to swap courses. I will make it work because I am studious and independent, but that doesn't mean I will go into my second year forgetting how my first year has prepared me. My first year has prepared me to expect the worst and get out of this place as soon as I have my degree.
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    (Original post by salsasauce)
    Hi, I am a first year at Warwick too. I have just realised this term that I feel the same. I just get bored, there isn't much to do and I haven't found many fun friends. Ditto for psychology lectures, and we mostly are in the humanities building..
    I don't suppose you want to be friends? x)
    I'm choosing between Warwick is one of my options in September. I've been to Warwick a few times visiting my friends and it was boring but I assumed it was just her accommodation/flatmates. Does it have any good qualities?
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    (Original post by EllainKahlo)
    I'm wary of the number of generalisations you have made. My sixth form did not 'spoon feed' me anything and I resent the term. My level of independence has not changed throughout my schooling. I get my work done, I don't doddle, I don't go to 'work' to socialise - I go there to work. I barely saw my classmates at sixth form because we had very few contact hours, almost as little as at university but my department were organised and far more professional than my department at university - that is embarrassing, for the uni, that is.

    The optional modules at my university are also piss-poor. We had an enormous list of modules open to us advertised when we applied - more than half of those options are no longer available for no good determined reason and were taken off the site just a week before we had to make our module selections. So me and my fellow students have been cheated. My department then had the nerve to change our module reading lists almost entirely after we made our selections, which we are now bound to.

    You say the first year is for levelling the playing field and getting everyone to learn the necessary skills for their second and third year - what skills? I haven't acquired anything I would consider skillful in my first year and yet you say, forget it all and look forward? That's counter-intuitive. If I was supposed to have learned so much this year to prepare for my next two years, why would I then forget everything so far? The nonsense I've endured should only prepare me for the worst next year.

    My university has done an appalling job this year and I won't make excuses for them. They should be ashamed of themselves, honestly. The only consolation I've had is knowing that every other English student that I know in person has the very same opinion of our department and course as I do. I have stopped complaining out loud about it because nothing is being done, I've sent my complaints - some of my fellow students, however have marched right into our department fuming about the way we have been treated and many have dropped out to swap courses. I will make it work because I am studious and independent, but that doesn't mean I will go into my second year forgetting how my first year has prepared me. My first year has prepared me to expect the worst and get out of this place as soon as I have my degree.
    You do not need to be so defensive. I was merely giving you some advice as it sounded like you needed some.

    There is so such thing as contact time at secondary education level.

    To that regarding the module deletion... You might not be aware of this but by law and UK university regulation, the university are within their rights and reason to delete modules at any given point within the year without notifying students. This happens ALL the time. Don't take it personally; unis are just like that because there's a million and one reasons as to why this might happen. They are allowed to change within any given moment. They also don't have to tell pre-existing students about module deletions. You are not part of their institution so they have no reason to tell you. (Don't argue with me on this one - this JUST the way it is. Don't ask me why. That's just it).

    The skills that you might think you have not learned are things such as research skills, writing academic reports or essays, learning how to correctly reference and knowing how not to plagiarise anything; if you had any presentations; learning to speak in public confidently and sufficiently, working in groups in group work. Etc. The skills you think you have not learnt will more that likely subconsciously appear in your future years.

    I meant forget about all the negative attributions from your first year.

    If you feel ill-treated by your department, you should made that very clear to your student or subject rep. Failing that, you go the department rep; then your academic advisor; then the head of department; then head of faculty; then the Student Union's Education/Academic Officer. Failing that, you go to the Vice-Dean. Also, if you're with NUS, you can get a petition and go public with the way you've been treated. Universites absolutely HATE this as it's obviously bad reputation and the SU Edu/Aca Officer would support you with this decision as they would usually orchestrate this. This is your right as a student who belongs to NUS. This is what my previous uni did. Worked wonders.

    You need to know your rights as a student if you expect anything to be done. But like yourelf, a lot of students will just burrow their heads in academic work rather than face the problem head on. A catch-22.
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    (Original post by The Empire Odyssey)
    You do not need to be so defensive. I was merely giving you some advice as it sounded like you needed some.

    There is so such thing as contact time at secondary education level.

    To that regarding the module deletion... You might not be aware of this but by law and UK university regulation, the university are within their rights and reason to delete modules at any given point within the year without notifying students. This happens ALL the time. Don't take it personally; unis are just like that because there's a million and one reasons as to why this might happen. They are allowed to change within any given moment. They also don't have to tell pre-existing students about module deletions. You are not part of their institution so they have no reason to tell you. (Don't argue with me on this one - this JUST the way it is. Don't ask me why. That's just it).

    The skills that you might think you have not learned are things such as research skills, writing academic reports or essays, learning how to correctly reference and knowing how not to plagiarise anything; if you had any presentations; learning to speak in public confidently and sufficiently, working in groups in group work. Etc. The skills you think you have not learnt will more that likely subconsciously appear in your future years.

    I meant forget about all the negative attributions from your first year.

    If you feel ill-treated by your department, you should made that very clear to your student or subject rep. Failing that, you go the department rep; then your academic advisor; then the head of department; then head of faculty; then the Student Union's Education/Academic Officer. Failing that, you go to the Vice-Dean. Also, if you're with NUS, you can get a petition and go public with the way you've been treated. Universites absolutely HATE this as it's obviously bad reputation and the SU Edu/Aca Officer would support you with this decision as they would usually orchestrate this. This is your right as a student who belongs to NUS. This is what my previous uni did. Worked wonders.

    You need to know your rights as a student if you expect anything to be done. But like yourelf, a lot of students will just burrow their heads in academic work rather than face the problem head on. A catch-22.
    I'm not defensive, I'm replying to your comments. You didn't think I had to agree with every comment you made right? That's called a discussion. If you didn't want one, I wouldn't be able to reply to your statements at all. I'm very aware that you're trying to do what you think is helpful and I am telling you what I have done as a result of my complaints.

    And that is what I meant by your generalisations. I'm very aware of what my sixth form did and did not have. We had a certain number of contact hours that were required, just like at university. I didn't say I had contact hours at secondary school level because I didn't.I do know that they are within their rights to get rid of modules, but going from around 70 to 25 is a very noticeable and unignorable difference. I knew there was nothing they could do about it so I didn't complain about it, I was still irritated however, which I'm well within my rights to be. I went to start uni with a plan, various plans and each have been thrwarted by a department with little organisation. The only couple of modules I could excuse being cancelled due to a rational given reason was that the tutor teaching them has decided to go on leave. Fair enough, but that doesn't account for the other 30 odd modules to simply disappear. It wouldn't have been a big deal had we been left with a bigger pool of choice. The ones left are oddly similar and uninspiring. Unless all you care about is the history language, medieval texts and colonisation - you're out of luck. I'm thinking about my future here, what I want to specialise in and I have a right to be unimpressed.

    I learned how to reference in sixth form. All of my peers learned how to reference in their colleges.

    Our course is no different from A-level literature, it just so happens to be in a different setting. We had to reference then and we do now, there was strict protocol for plagiarism that we learned about then, all of us did because it was an A-level requirement. We did presentations then and we do presentations now. I fail to see the skills I have learned this year because there are none, not because I need to 'give it time'. Again, been there, done that. One of my fellow classmates is in the process of writing a petition for changes to be made asap. But it is unfair on her, and all of us to be thinking of writing petitions in our first year when we're trying to focus on our studies. I have spoken to my head of department, I have spoken to my personal tutor, I have spoken to my individual tutors - I've not been sitting on my arse all year complaining, I have been proactive. Again, don't make assumptions about what I have and haven't done.

    Why would I bury my head in work instead of making my complaints heard? I've done both, the ball is in their court and they already have my warnings and those from other students. If they don't get their act together, there will be trouble for their reputation. We have already told them we are seeking a meeting with the head of the university - hopeful that is going ahead very soon. You're getting these replies from me because you've not once bothered to ask what I've actually done, so I'm telling you. It's very easy to be on the outside, assuming the situation is not so dire, or should have been dealt with already by myself - you are not in my position.
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    (Original post by EllainKahlo)
    I'm not defensive, I'm replying to your comments. You didn't think I had to agree with every comment you made right? That's called a discussion. If you didn't want one, I wouldn't be able to reply to your statements at all. I'm very aware that you're trying to do what you think is helpful and I am telling you what I have done as a result of my complaints.

    And that is what I meant by your generalisations. I'm very aware of what my sixth form did and did not have. We had a certain number of contact hours that were required, just like at university. I didn't say I had contact hours at secondary school level because I didn't.I do know that they are within their rights to get rid of modules, but going from around 70 to 25 is a very noticeable and unignorable difference. I knew there was nothing they could do about it so I didn't complain about it, I was still irritated however, which I'm well within my rights to be. I went to start uni with a plan, various plans and each have been thrwarted by a department with little organisation. The only couple of modules I could excuse being cancelled due to a rational given reason was that the tutor teaching them has decided to go on leave. Fair enough, but that doesn't account for the other 30 odd modules to simply disappear. It wouldn't have been a big deal had we been left with a bigger pool of choice. The ones left are oddly similar and uninspiring. Unless all you care about is the history language, medieval texts and colonisation - you're out of luck. I'm thinking about my future here, what I want to specialise in and I have a right to be unimpressed.

    I learned how to reference in sixth form. All of my peers learned how to reference in their colleges.

    Our course is no different from A-level literature, it just so happens to be in a different setting. We had to reference then and we do now, there was strict protocol for plagiarism that we learned about then, all of us did because it was an A-level requirement. We did presentations then and we do presentations now. I fail to see the skills I have learned this year because there are none, not because I need to 'give it time'. Again, been there, done that. One of my fellow classmates is in the process of writing a petition for changes to be made asap. But it is unfair on her, and all of us to be thinking of writing petitions in our first year when we're trying to focus on our studies. I have spoken to my head of department, I have spoken to my personal tutor, I have spoken to my individual tutors - I've not been sitting on my arse all year complaining, I have been proactive. Again, don't make assumptions about what I have and haven't done.

    Why would I bury my head in work instead of making my complaints heard? I've done both, the ball is in their court and they already have my warnings and those from other students. If they don't get their act together, there will be trouble for their reputation. We have already told them we are seeking a meeting with the head of the university - hopeful that is going ahead very soon. You're getting these replies from me because you've not once bothered to ask what I've actually done, so I'm telling you. It's very easy to be on the outside, assuming the situation is not so dire, or should have been dealt with already by myself - you are not in my position.
    Good luck - you'll need it.
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    (Original post by The Empire Odyssey)
    Good luck - you'll need it.
    Thanks, your sarcasm will really aid me.
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    I met quite a lot of people but not sure who I have as friends and things. had a pretty bad flat and never really bonded. enjoyed the course and know people from there which is good but I just hope I make more/new friends in second year - is that possible???
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    erhh i just want first year to be over and already in second year. I was so lazy this year like unbelievably. but ive realised my mistakes so have learnt so many valuable lessons. not really made many friends its just so frustrating. im hoping i pass this year and get into second year so pray for me!
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    (Original post by Shumaya)
    I'm choosing between Warwick is one of my options in September. I've been to Warwick a few times visiting my friends and it was boring but I assumed it was just her accommodation/flatmates. Does it have any good qualities?
    Ummmm my boyfriend is the best thing about uni for me aha, does that count? :')

    It's not that bad it's just term 3 and exam week I think. There's the clubs Kasbah in coventry, and neon and smack in leamington.
    It's the third-most targeted uni by employers after oxbridge, so you're really employable.

    It's okay, but like if you have stayed over a few times then it is kinda like that. Flats do differ though obviously
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    (Original post by Tachikoma)
    Ugh, most people on my course are so boring. I plan on changing my degree anyway for next year, so hopefully I'll meet more interesting and talkative individuals.
    Right now I'm just revising for my exams
    I was wondering if you are changing course, is it essential that you apply through UCAS again.
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    what is second year like? apart from harder? are there new opportunities? do people want to meet more people?
 
 
 
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