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What advice would you give a first year student starting uni?

Poll

Year 13s: What are you most apprehensive about when starting uni?

Heading off to start uni can be a big change.

If you're planning on starting uni in September, what's on your mind the most?

Are you thinking about what uni accommodation will be like? Meeting new people? Getting on well with your course? Your wellbeing? Money?

If you're already at uni, what advice would you give to a new first year before they arrive on campus?

We've got heaps of help available on preparing for university on our sister site, The Uni Guide, if you're keen to have a gander over the break.

Scroll to see replies

doing well on my course :afraid:
honestly dreading 3 more years of exams, homework, etc
Original post by Obolinda
doing well on my course :afraid:
honestly dreading 3 more years of exams, homework, etc

It does depend on the course you take and your lecturers too, but generally university is a lot easier than A Levels at school. (from a secondary school drop-out with failed grades and a 1st class graduate with a Merit in postgraduate studies too). I hope this will reassure you a bit! Plus, everyone I met at university (meaning a good few hundreds) apart from three people also agree with my POV that uni is a lot easier than school
Original post by Anonymous
It does depend on the course you take and your lecturers too, but generally university is a lot easier than A Levels at school. (from a secondary school drop-out with failed grades and a 1st class graduate with a Merit in postgraduate studies too). I hope this will reassure you a bit! Plus, everyone I met at university (meaning a good few hundreds) apart from three people also agree with my POV that uni is a lot easier than school

thanks :smile:
Take first year seriously! Most courses first year doesn't count towards your final classification, you just have to pass, so lots of students take this as a chance to do the bare minimum and live the fullest student life. In my experience, its those students that struggled the most in second and especially third year and then complain how hard and unfair uni is. Take first year to learn how to write university style essays, how to research, properly cite and reference, how to study for exams, and balance it with a job. First year is the easiest so you'll still have loads of time for the SU or whatever, but for something you're spending 3 years and "spending" £27k+ on, you don't want to start off on a bad foot.
Reply 5
have fun and don't moan abt work cos first year is great - you have complete freedom, a pool of ppl your age, and so many opportunities
ngl it's your fault if you don't enjoy it
Reply 6
I want to keep painting while studying, doing commissions getting into galleries etc while doing a more respectable degree so it will be a struggle
Reply 7
Original post by Anonymous
Take first year seriously! Most courses first year doesn't count towards your final classification, you just have to pass, so lots of students take this as a chance to do the bare minimum and live the fullest student life. In my experience, its those students that struggled the most in second and especially third year and then complain how hard and unfair uni is. Take first year to learn how to write university style essays, how to research, properly cite and reference, how to study for exams, and balance it with a job. First year is the easiest so you'll still have loads of time for the SU or whatever, but for something you're spending 3 years and "spending" £27k+ on, you don't want to start off on a bad foot.

100% agree dont start with bad habits
Take some sandals/crocs/sliders, especially if you are sharing a bathroom. They can also be handy for the kitchen and very much so for putting the bins out in the middle of the night.
Talk to older years - they can give very good advice and 'insider info' on modules and stuff :smile:
Reply 10
Don't be scared to ask for help

Concern yourself with what you are doing, not what others are doing

Make an effort to do nice things as well as work things

Use university support networks as and when you need them

Don't expect to be all-conquering right away; it's a learning curve

Work as much as you need to, party as much as you want to - strike the balance

Get familiarised with the library ASAP
My advice would be: go to lectures :tongue:

It's far too easy to skip some you find boring or are at 9am on a Monday or whatever else, but it's always worse than just reliably turning up - you never know what you'll miss (like the lecturer saying "definitely revise this exact example we just went over for the exam hint hint" because they are using that same example word for word in the exam, which happens more often than you might think...).
Original post by BlinkyBill
Heading off to start uni can be a big change.

If you're planning on starting uni in September, what's on your mind the most?

Are you thinking about what uni accommodation will be like? Meeting new people? Getting on well with your course? Your wellbeing? Money?

If you're already at uni, what advice would you give to a new first year before they arrive on campus?

We've got heaps of help available on preparing for university on our sister site, The Uni Guide, if you're keen to have a gander over the break.


Hey everyone :h:

Hope you're all looking forward to September and beginning your studies at university, wherever you're going and whatever you're going to be studying! My advice for a first year due to arrive on campus would be:

- Look for reputable and popular facebook groups for your uni! Often you will find people on these making group chats for particular courses/accommodations and it's a great way to get to know a few names before you arrive.

- Have a look in advance at societies and clubs you might be interested in joining so you can keep an eye out/it in mind during freshers week. These are a great way to meet new people off of your course and entertain your interests, and you might have a lot to think about during welcome weeks, so have a think about it before!

- Depending on what subject you're doing, keep notes of references as you go. Say if you read something you find particularly insightful, profound or interesting that you might like to discuss in an essay one day, just jot it down so you can easily find it again! This is something I wish I had thought to do earlier on in my degree. I think it would have helped to spark more inspiration when it came to doing assessments and made it all a lot more organised!

- Establish contact with your academic advisor (if you have one) early on! Drop an email to introduce yourself and say hello. Making that first point of contact can make it seem a lot less daunting for you to reach out if you hit any bumps in the road, and they'll be more than happy to speak with you.

- Similarly to the last point, familiarise yourself when your the student support available at your uni. University can be such a fun, rewarding and exciting time but you want to be on the front foot of knowing what help is at your disposal if you start to find things difficult. These resources are there to help you and be used, so make sure you use them if you feel you might need to.

Wishing you all the very best of luck and a wonderful time at uni. If anyone has any specific questions about university, UEA, being a student in Norwich or studying a film/television based degree then please just let me know and I'll be happy to help :h: have a lovely summer everyone!

Danielle :smile:
Film and Television Studies
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by BlinkyBill
Heading off to start uni can be a big change.

If you're planning on starting uni in September, what's on your mind the most?

Are you thinking about what uni accommodation will be like? Meeting new people? Getting on well with your course? Your wellbeing? Money?

If you're already at uni, what advice would you give to a new first year before they arrive on campus?

We've got heaps of help available on preparing for university on our sister site, The Uni Guide, if you're keen to have a gander over the break.

Hey everyone,

I am a 3rd-year Psychology student so thought I would share some advice for freshers :smile:

1. Join Facebook groups and group chats to meet members of your accommodation and courses beforehand

2. Check out the student union at university and eye up any societies you may want to join before you start

3. Slippers! Handy to have next to your bed for pesky fire alarm drills

4. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there!

5. Make connections with your lecturers early on. It's a great way to establish a presence and have them aware of you as a student. This can open up opportunities further down the line

6. Don't put too much pressure on yourself in the first year - it is daunting moving away from home and having to adjust, it is okay to take some time for you!

7. Enjoy all you can :smile:

Take care,
Rylee
3rd Year Student Ambassador
Advanced Applied Psychology
Original post by Obolinda
doing well on my course :afraid:
honestly dreading 3 more years of exams, homework, etc


Don't fall behind with your coursework as make sure you are up to date with things before even thinking about having a good night out with other students.

That's one thing I made sure I done was any homework that needed done, especially when having to transfer written notes into your coursework folder daily ( nightly) at university and also when I was finished doing a 12 hours shift going home and trying to write up the information I have noted over the shift while still fresh in my mind as easily forgotten the following day when perhaps of.
I made a rule that if I wasn't upto date with my coursework as a whole I wouldn't go out on the town as I felt it was important to make sure I had my coursework banged right upto date and then and only then I had time out like - maybe daft but I think the degree was more important because it was basically going to be my future career.

I'm sure you'll be absolutely fine with your course and you'll smash it and remember three years goes very fast when enjoying yourself.
The exams are the thing you make sure you pass and give yourself plenty of time to revise for those so you are well prepared. I know you'll already know that.

Anyway enjoy your next three years of university with whatever your degree is okay 😀
Oh two more, non-academic things:

Binge drinking is not a substitute for a personality

and

playful overfamiliarity often comes across as rudeness - it's better to just be sincere and genuine.
Reply 16
Original post by University of East Anglia UG Student Rep: Danielle
Hey everyone :h:

- Depending on what subject you're doing, keep notes of references as you go. Say if you read something you find particularly insightful, profound or interesting that you might like to discuss in an essay one day, just jot it down so you can easily find it again! This is something I wish I had thought to do earlier on in my degree. I think it would have helped to spark more inspiration when it came to doing assessments and made it all a lot more organised!


Boss advice. Little cheat code for this take screenshots of the title info if an online resource, take a photo with your phone if a physical medium. I do this even now.
Make it 4. I’ve also did undergrad, and two post grads.

If you’re going into a STEM field, like myself( or vocation / dedicated discipline like architecture etc) then life gets more difficult. You’re wasting your time going to university for a social science.

It takes a significant amount of your time if you want to do well in your course. You making this comment is irresponsible “it gets easier” etc.

University sure has fallen in quality, and they’re certainly letting in people who shouldn’t be there.

If you treat university like a full time job and work the full time hours, then you should get by. If you want to do well then do more ! Once you start getting involved at university, your life becomes a lot of fun, yet equally serious. Of course, enjoy yourself. But you should take it seriously. Don’t follow the mob, otherwise you’ll end up jobless for a year or two as you grind out new skills as you realise the previous three years were wasted.





Original post by Anonymous
It does depend on the course you take and your lecturers too, but generally university is a lot easier than A Levels at school. (from a secondary school drop-out with failed grades and a 1st class graduate with a Merit in postgraduate studies too). I hope this will reassure you a bit! Plus, everyone I met at university (meaning a good few hundreds) apart from three people also agree with my POV that uni is a lot easier than school
Reply 18
Original post by DeanB27943
Make it 4. I’ve also did undergrad, and two post grads.

If you’re going into a STEM field, like myself( or vocation / dedicated discipline like architecture etc) then life gets more difficult. You’re wasting your time going to university for a social science.

It takes a significant amount of your time if you want to do well in your course. You making this comment is irresponsible “it gets easier” etc.

University sure has fallen in quality, and they’re certainly letting in people who shouldn’t be there.

If you treat university like a full time job and work the full time hours, then you should get by. If you want to do well then do more ! Once you start getting involved at university, your life becomes a lot of fun, yet equally serious. Of course, enjoy yourself. But you should take it seriously. Don’t follow the mob, otherwise you’ll end up jobless for a year or two as you grind out new skills as you realise the previous three years were wasted.

Make it 5, actually - from someone with an undergrad, and three postgrads including a terminal degree.

I don't really agree with the 'wasted time' thing for social science well, not as a foregone, necessary conclusion) but the rest is nailed on.
Reply 19
Original post by Anonymous
It does depend on the course you take and your lecturers too, but generally university is a lot easier than A Levels at school. (from a secondary school drop-out with failed grades and a 1st class graduate with a Merit in postgraduate studies too). I hope this will reassure you a bit! Plus, everyone I met at university (meaning a good few hundreds) apart from three people also agree with my POV that uni is a lot easier than school


I've taught in universities for the past 8 years and it if people really think it is 'easier than school' then they are generally lying or they are failing.

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