Advice for first year Uni students

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futurelawtrainee
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Having just finished Year 13, I know there are a lot of things I now regret not having done/not knowing whilst studying at college. What is the best advice you have for everyone going into their first year of University?
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h.findlay321
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Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Don't shy away from new opportunities to try new things and meet new people. Throw yourself into the university experience. Work hard (ish) - a lot of people say first year doesn't count and it doesn't really, as long as you pass it you're fine. However, getting into good work habits in your first year is so beneficial for when it actually counts. Also if you're planning on applying for any internships/vacation schemes etc then you will often be asked to list every module you've completed and your mark. If you just scraped past the 40% mark, your application will most likely end up in the bin.

Also people at uni are really open to making friends in the first few weeks-month of uni but after that it becomes a lot more difficult as people have found their groups etc. I'm not saying it becomes impossible but really make an effort in the first month or so to make as many friends as you can and maintain these friendships as long as possible. A lot can change in one week at university.
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University of Portsmouth Student Rep
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(Original post by futurelawtrainee)
Having just finished Year 13, I know there are a lot of things I now regret not having done/not knowing whilst studying at college. What is the best advice you have for everyone going into their first year of University?
Hey,

I wouldn't let your year 13 experience affect your time at Uni. There is alot I could advise but a few best best advises to you would be; be yourself, enjoy the experiences, work hard, learn from your mistakes and don't do things from peer pressure.

Hope this helps
Doreen-maria - Official Student Rep 😀
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megathon360
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(Original post by h.findlay321)
Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Don't shy away from new opportunities to try new things and meet new people. Throw yourself into the university experience. Work hard (ish) - a lot of people say first year doesn't count and it doesn't really, as long as you pass it you're fine. However, getting into good work habits in your first year is so beneficial for when it actually counts. Also if you're planning on applying for any internships/vacation schemes etc then you will often be asked to list every module you've completed and your mark. If you just scraped past the 40% mark, your application will most likely end up in the bin.

Also people at uni are really open to making friends in the first few weeks-month of uni but after that it becomes a lot more difficult as people have found their groups etc. I'm not saying it becomes impossible but really make an effort in the first month or so to make as many friends as you can and maintain these friendships as long as possible. A lot can change in one week at university.
This is something I am definitely going to struggle with, however I will try to do my best.
I have a stammer which comes with a lot of anxiety when put in unfamiliar situations or meeting new people and I struggle to say my name and introduce myself so first week of halls should be interesting...

Besides that I'm still very excited to start something new and although uni life seems like it's gonna be non existent this year, I'll try and find a club or society I'm interested in.
Thanks for the advice 😊
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(Original post by megathon360)
I have a stammer which comes with a lot of anxiety when put in unfamiliar situations or meeting new people and I struggle to say my name and introduce myself so first week of halls should be interesting...
I have the exact same problem and I've also just finished year 13. Im looking to check out some breathing techniques on YouTube to help me cope. It's really embarrassing.
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Lancaster Student Ambassador
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(Original post by futurelawtrainee)
Having just finished Year 13, I know there are a lot of things I now regret not having done/not knowing whilst studying at college. What is the best advice you have for everyone going into their first year of University?
Hi @futurelawtrainee,

I've just finished my first year at Lancaster University.

I would say that you don't need to be worried about coming to university. It is a big change for a lot of people (myself included) and I was terrified to meet new people. However, everybody else is in the same situation and will be willing and wanting to be friends and get to know you. One thing I would say is not to worry if you don't find really close friends straight away: friendships take time to develop, and you will continue making friends throughout your university experience.

As others have said, really getting involved and trying something new will help make it the best experience for you. Joining a new society, or going along to some events/talks that interest you might help you also meet people with similar interests. You can find a list of Lancaster's societies here, to give you an example of just how much universities offer!

Similarly, getting into a good routine and getting good habits will set you up for the rest of your degree. First year may not count at a lot of universities, but it's a chance to find out how studying at university level works for you and to ensure you make the most out of the academic side of your experience. I'd recommend really getting to know the place or campus that you'll be staying on, too - I certainly wish that I had explored the town and area around Lancaster a lot more in my first year, and hope to this coming year!

If you have any questions about university, I'd be happy to help!

Maria
1st year English Literature, Creative Writing and Practice (placement year)
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futurelawtrainee
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(Original post by h.findlay321)
Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Don't shy away from new opportunities to try new things and meet new people. Throw yourself into the university experience. Work hard (ish) - a lot of people say first year doesn't count and it doesn't really, as long as you pass it you're fine. However, getting into good work habits in your first year is so beneficial for when it actually counts. Also if you're planning on applying for any internships/vacation schemes etc then you will often be asked to list every module you've completed and your mark. If you just scraped past the 40% mark, your application will most likely end up in the bin.

Also people at uni are really open to making friends in the first few weeks-month of uni but after that it becomes a lot more difficult as people have found their groups etc. I'm not saying it becomes impossible but really make an effort in the first month or so to make as many friends as you can and maintain these friendships as long as possible. A lot can change in one week at university.
This is really helpful, thank you. As I'll be applying for vacation schemes in my second year I know the first year does count, at least for me. Is there anything I should be doing like practising essay writing in order to get high marks whilst adapting to Uni style work and the workload?
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futurelawtrainee
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(Original post by megathon360)
I have a stammer which comes with a lot of anxiety when put in unfamiliar situations or meeting new people and I struggle to say my name and introduce myself so first week of halls should be interesting...
I don't know how it happened but I developed the same thing in Year 13 and I've gotten rid of it. If you want to fix that issue, you need to assess yourself and find out why it's happening. I started speaking way too quickly out of nowhere and my pace was too fast so very often I'd literally stumble on my own words and sentences and stutter sometimes. There is a sort of nervousness that can manifest when speaking, so practice to take your time when you talk and especially if you have anxiety when speaking to new people, you have to relax.

It's not an easy process and will take time but just try your best to be comfortable in such social situations (fake it 'til you make it confidence always works) and you will undo it.
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megathon360
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(Original post by futurelawtrainee)
I don't know how it happened but I developed the same thing in Year 13 and I've gotten rid of it. If you want to fix that issue, you need to assess yourself and find out why it's happening. I started speaking way too quickly out of nowhere and my pace was too fast so very often I'd literally stumble on my own words and sentences and stutter sometimes. There is a sort of nervousness that can manifest when speaking, so practice to take your time when you talk and especially if you have anxiety when speaking to new people, you have to relax.

It's not an easy process and will take time but just try your best to be comfortable in such social situations (fake it 'til you make it confidence always works) and you will undo it.
I've had it since I was around 5 and have had many courses of speech therapy to help compensate. It worked the first time as I went from not being able to say a sentence to my speech being more fluent.
After that though, therapy has had no effect and the practices they teach don't work for me.
My stammer is not about stumbling over words or repeating a few syllables. There are many different types of stammers but the one I have is physically being unable to say a word as if someone's put up a block and you can't get the word out. It's both physical and mental and i don't see it ever going away because well, it's highly unlikely that it will. It might and probably will improve gradually as it has done over time but I'll always have it.

I've heard this all before. Just relax, don't be nervous, take a deep breath and start over, put a pencil in your mouth and talk (this one makes me laugh), fake confidence ect, ect. While I really appreciate the tips that I'm sure helped you, I've tried all of them for years and they just straight up don't help me.
The things that I can work on however is my confidence and anxiety which I think uni will help a lot with. Throwing myself in and getting used to talking and meeting with new people should definitely help.
I'm glad that you managed to overcome your struggle and that it was just a phase as it just plain out sucks as I'm sure you know.
Thanks for sharing 😊
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RandomTennisfan
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It’s all a learning experience, try new things meet new people see what you like and who you like. Do more things first year as generally you have more scope to. Also, do make sure you do research on your course and that it feels like a good investment of your time and money to study.
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naaeeh
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(Original post by megathon360)
I've had it since I was around 5 and have had many courses of speech therapy to help compensate. It worked the first time as I went from not being able to say a sentence to my speech being more fluent.
After that though, therapy has had no effect and the practices they teach don't work for me.
My stammer is not about stumbling over words or repeating a few syllables. There are many different types of stammers but the one I have is physically being unable to say a word as if someone's put up a block and you can't get the word out. It's both physical and mental and i don't see it ever going away because well, it's highly unlikely that it will. It might and probably will improve gradually as it has done over time but I'll always have it.

I've heard this all before. Just relax, don't be nervous, take a deep breath and start over, put a pencil in your mouth and talk (this one makes me laugh), fake confidence ect, ect. While I really appreciate the tips that I'm sure helped you, I've tried all of them for years and they just straight up don't help me.
The things that I can work on however is my confidence and anxiety which I think uni will help a lot with. Throwing myself in and getting used to talking and meeting with new people should definitely help.
I'm glad that you managed to overcome your struggle and that it was just a phase as it just plain out sucks as I'm sure you know.
Thanks for sharing 😊
Hello, just a quick note to say that one of my best friends that I met in halls has a stammer, it sounds similar to yours in that he just can’t get some words out etc, and he made lots of friends and had a really good time at uni obviously I know that is only one person’s experience, but I’m sure that people will like you for who you are, if they are worth being friends with, so hopefully your stammer won’t be a barrier or anything like that. Good luck!
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Joleee
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i'm assuming you're studying law or did i assume wrong?

if you're struggling, get help early. do not wait till December when you're in so deep you can't see a way out.

do not try to read everything on the reading list; it's actually not a requirement. just pick a couple articles from each subject on the list.

make sure you argue and not just 'describe' law. it's not enough to know what the law says, but show the marker you understand the significance of it. be critical

wouldn't bother buying the textbooks till you open one in the library and see if it speaks to you or not. i know many of my friends spent money on books in first year, then realised it wasn't necessary since you don't *have* to use that one specifically, just gotta know the material.

public law is the worst and if you don't know anything about the constitution and have time on your hands atm, try to research the constitution and make sure you keep up with the news (disregard if you're not studying law ha)
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h.findlay321
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(Original post by futurelawtrainee)
This is really helpful, thank you. As I'll be applying for vacation schemes in my second year I know the first year does count, at least for me. Is there anything I should be doing like practising essay writing in order to get high marks whilst adapting to Uni style work and the workload?
Don’t stress yourself too much about doing work before you get to uni. If you can access a reading list for your course it may be worth getting ahead with some reading. Uni’s completely understand that students will be adapting during the first few months so don’t worry if you have a dodgy essay, just make sure you focus in lectures and seminars as lecturers often drop hints on what they are looking for. Also meeting with tutors who have set essays/work will be extremely beneficial when it comes to writing the essays.
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thelegimus
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Keep an open mind and don't be afraid to try new things! University can be the best years of your life and don't forget everyone who's going to university this september is in the same situation as you!

Do you want to know more about commercial world?
We are preparing to launch a new blog called The Legimus and I would really appreciate if you can follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram @thelegimus.
Thanks
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