The Student Room Group

Any advice for starting uni

im starting uni in 3 months , any advice
i am going to be living in an accomidation
im doing robotics and ai at uni aswel
Hey

Congratulations on starting University in a few months such an exciting time. I would say before starting try and purchase things you may need for University accommodation e,g bedding, and kitchen utensils. It may also be worth learning to cook for yourself I found this really helpful when moving into accommodation. You may also want to look around for Student bank accounts usually there are deals and incentives for students e,g free rail cards. Sadly I cannot advise on the robotics side of things but if you have any general questions happy to try and help :smile:


Rebecca YSJ Student Ambassador
@Dannydino

1.Think about what you want to take with you to university and how you plan to get it there
You don't want to take everything, but think about the things that might be difficult to get or what will be a nice reminder of home.

2. Do some reading ahead to avoid feeling overwhelmed
There will be lot of new things to adjust to, so one less thing to worry about will help you feel less stressed!

3. Enjoy spending time with friends/ family if you are moving far away
Even with the best plans to come back on weekends, relationships will invariably change.

4. Sort out any outstanding admin that you need to get done ahead of uni e.g. student loan
You do not want to leave your student loan application to the last minute, if you want to receive funding on time!

5. Have a great summer!
It is one of the longest, you will get!

Oluwatosin 2nd year student University of Huddersfield
Original post by Dannydino
im starting uni in 3 months , any advice
i am going to be living in an accomidation
im doing robotics and ai at uni aswel


Hey @Dannydino Congratulations on getting in to University! I would recommend creating a list with deadlines so you can have all your things purchased about a month before moving into your accommodation this will help you with the last minute rushing and packing. I would also advise going to a freshers week or open day at your chosen university this way you can get to know a few people before the semester begins. A lot of my own friends are ones I met at freshers week. This is your last summer without having any academic work to do, so take advantage of this and enjoy your break and prepare for September. When you do start Uni I would recommend having confidence go and speak with peers you never know what could happend. Hope this helps!


Gurpej Kaur(Student Rep)
Original post by Dannydino
im starting uni in 3 months , any advice
i am going to be living in an accomidation
im doing robotics and ai at uni aswel

Hi @Dannydino

From my experience, it was really useful to have a look through lists on websites or even some TikToks to see what’s best to take with you moving in. Some things you won’t even need, so in order to regulate space and prioritise your items it’s a good way to start getting an idea for your room :smile:

Wishing you all the best,
Ellie
Original post by Dannydino
im starting uni in 3 months , any advice
i am going to be living in an accomidation
im doing robotics and ai at uni aswel


First of all, if you get the grades and get accepted, congrats.

I wrote a roughly 50 page guide on this, so it's going to be tight to fit all the advice on a post. Instead, I will just give you a summary.

Key skills to pick up irrespective of the subject:

Learn how to write academically, if you haven't already; the writing style can mean the difference between a Third and a First Class. If necessary, ready How to Write Great Essays by Peter Levin

Learn critical thinking, as this is usually where the high grades (1st class+) are

Learn how to use Microsoft Office proficiently, since you would be using it a lot for essays, assignments, and general seminar work. If you want to get a qualification in this, do one of the Microsoft MOS certifications (they're better than the ICDL)

Learn to speed read; it's one of the life skills that can save you years of your life

Learn to touch type; it's one of the life skills that can also save you years of your life

Learn to communicate and socialise, if you're poor in these areas; networking is crucial for job hunting later in life, and the contacts you have through uni will help you get a lot further along than you think

Learn financial management; it will save you a lot of headache later on. At the very least, learn about cash flow forecast; it's probably the simplest and easiest tool to use that's also the most effective

Academic reading is not like reading a regular book - read only the relevant sections of the chapters and papers you're asked to read. Also, look at introductions and conclusions before reading the rest of the chapter/paper for evidence



Things to note:

Socialise with your flatmates when you move in e.g. night out, curry night, venture and explore the local city/town

University is probably the last place that's half decent to find dates and socialise; after that it will be drastically more difficult. Take advantage of this where possible.

If you don't study near a city centre, bring your car and bike with you; if you don't have a licence, get one

Weekly groceries bought in bulk from the supermarket is better value for money than the occasional purchase from the local shops

Look for internships within the first 3 months at university; the deadlines are crazy early. An internship will carry you a lot further than a degree for work

Whenever you get your assignments back, always go back to the person who marked your assignment (be it your lecturer or not) for further feedback, irrespective of whether you got a first class or not

Remember to stay humble; you won't be the only one who achieved a first class, and just because you got a first class it doesn't necessarily mean that you will get an equally high grade

First class is the top grade, but there are grading that could be even higher e.g. 80%+ These are legendary, but people have achieved them before

Irrespective of where you are staying, always try to be within a 30 minute commute from the uni (ideally 30 minute walk as opposed a 30 minute bike). This will make your life a lot less stressful

If you are not spending the majority of the 40 hour week in libraries and labs, you're not likely studying right. A full time course is designed to stretch you; if you find that you're not putting the hours, expect a lot of stress further down the line

You should have thought about your career options before picking your degree. If you didn't, you should really think and research about it before you go into your first year. This will affect whether you want/need to do postgrad and what else you need to secure the job you want

As far as I know, bachelor's degrees in Robotics and AI aren't degrees offered by top end universities, so you should be fine doing part time jobs (some of the top end universities have issues with students doing part time work). If you do work, I wouldn't do anything more than 20 hours per week on top of your studies (including commute). If at all, I would recommend something in the 5-10 hour range. Any more, and you can see it drastically affecting your grades.

Robotics and AI is not a particularly easy degree, so I would expect you to spend a lot of time working on the material. If you're not, it's a red flag on how high your grades will turn out

The second year is generally easier than the third. If you want to max your grades, then you would want to bank as high grades as you can in your second year so you won't need to stress as much in your third. This is irrespective of what your mark allocations would be

I am not entirely sure what the contents are for your specific degree, but as far as I know Robotics and AI is a degree that should contain quantiative material. Getting a first class in essays modules is more usually difficult (ask any law student) than some quantiative modules; although the content in quantitative modules is generally considered more difficult, you can theoretically get marks as high as 90-100%, whereas essays usually max out at 80%. I would max out the scores you can get in quantitative modules to make up for any shortfalls in your essays.

If you need more help on specific programming issues, it's usually better to go on online forums than just asking coursemates significantly smarter than you (there will always be those smarter than you irrespective of which uni you go to). MDN and general googling is usually helpful (as unis have issues with ChatGPT).

Make friends with people on your course; they're most likely people who you will stay in contact with in the long term.

Particularly useful is your network with people who are smarter than you on your course; don't admire them from a distance and don't think you have to do everything yourself. Study in groups where necessary/possible.

Do go to clubs and societies, but limit yourself to at most 2 clubs/societies - you won't have the time otherwise. Do go on socials and network with more people

If you can't find people to rent out houses with in your 2nd and 3rd year, and you want to live off campus, go on spareroom.com as a last resort. If you do look for private landlords, keep your wits about you and check to see if they are doing things according to the law (some don't).

I don't know what the specific requirements of your degree is (I'm not exactly intending on doing a robotics and AI degree, so I don't know), but you would be looking to at least get the following computer equipment: laptop, laptop bag, mouse (because I don't like touchpads), earphones, USB stick, laser pointer, printer (all-in-ones please and make it a half decent one). If you want to be really fancy, get a sizeable monitor for your laptop as a second screen. Should it be necessary, bring a half decent desktop that doesn't take up a lot of space.

The rooms you generally get aren't usually that big, so don't bring unnecessary stuff with you (it's not a camping trip or your first house). Rule of thumb, if you can't fit everything in 2 bags (e.g. suitcase and laptop bag), don't bring it. It's not fun lugging things in your car/van back and forth over long distances.

Key clothes are usually clothes you wear 80% of the time (usually some versatile like jeans and trainers), smart shoes and clothes for the night out, and a suit for a job interview or something important. Keep things to a minimum and stay practical.

When buying stuff to decorate your room, consider getting a poster or something small at most. If you're moving often or only staying for a year, you don't need lots of stuff to be in the room.

If you don't want to pay for gym membership, get at least a set of dumb bells and a yoga mat (the mat is to cushion the weights and your back/needs when you're on the floor). Quality resistance bands are also good, but should be additions not replacement for the above.

Get a student railcard if you intend to travel. The discount is generally 1/3 off, so if the cumulative discount for the 12 months is more than the £30 cost, you "earned" your money back

Get an annual bus pass where possible; it will save you a load on bus fares if you do use the bus often (e.g. commute from uni, although not ideal; groceries shopping; trips to the city/town centre)

You usually get finance for the first set of degrees that you do e.g. first bachelor's, first master's, first doctorate. If you need to get a second or subsequent set of degrees then under the ELQ policy, you will need to fund it yourself (and possibly at more than £9k a year, depending on the uni). If the degree you are doing isn't the one you want to have by the end of Year 3, think very carefully about what you want to do next (unless you're saying you have lots of time and money, and most of us don't have either).

Master's degrees can sometimes be more expensive than the bachelor's (unis can usually charge any sum for degrees above bachelor's level), so if you want to do a master's think carefully about how you do this e.g. integrated master's (MEng, MSci) vs stand alone master's (MSc). Integrated master's can be cheaper.

Master's degrees are usually half of a bachelor's + master's dissertation. Not all master's degrees are worth the money or effort, so investigate this carefully. For most jobs you won't need a master's. The only possible benefit for the degree you're doing is likely to get a chartered engineering status if your undergrad is an engineering degree e.g. BEng/MEng, not BSc

Plagarism is like a death sentence at university. Break this rule, and expect to be expelled, banned, and blacklisted.

There are extra qualifications that I kind of wished I did during or before uni so I would have more options on the sort of jobs that I can apply for. I am not sure what your budget or intentions are, but consider stuff like: personal training certificates (with REPS), CELTA/CertTESOL (to teach English as a foreign language), work passes for construction work, personal licence (bar manager), hygiene certificate (kitchen work), level 3 certificates in child minding (nursery work). Whether these are worth the money is up to you. Personally if I had programming skills, I would consider freelancing with programming work or consider working part time at a local computer workshop. Some consider tutoring.

If your course have sufficient material to cover LLM, API, and data science, then it can make life significant easier if you use the skills and knowledge for your personal life.

Buy textbooks second hand where possible, especially if it's a popular book as they can be cheap. I wouldn't just rely on Amazon as you can get them cheaper on other websites, especially if they specialise in second hand books. Even then I would only buy textbooks if the book is decent and I have spent more than enough time in the short loan section of the uni.

When doing assignments, look at the recommended reading section of your module outlines; these would contain hints of which articles you should look into when doing your assignments and possibly mention in your exams

Before starting your assignment, you should look through the notes of relevant lecture, and go through everything with a fine toothcomb. The answer for the assignment is generally obscure and very subtle.

Don't quote wikipedia for anything, but use the relevant references at the bottom of the page to further your reading (could include relevant material)

If you have problems with the maths in the course, I would refer to the basic maths textbooks that they mention in the unit outlines. If those books aren't helpful (some won't be), refer to the specific material in the Schaum's Outline series books, but look through the contents of the specific books before buying (a lot of the material overlap in multiple books and some might not contain the material you will need - the series is for Canadian/American higher education system, which can be very different to that of the UK's).

Try to avoid getting anything below a 2:1; life is usually significantly harder if it is. The grade of your bachelor's would generally be used for shortlisting more than any other degrees that you end up doing.

Try to have things going on outside of studies for your job applications. Your grades and qualifications usually don't amount more than a tick in the box for work in industry (the degree content matters more in academia). The rest would usually be things like relevant work experience, skills, personality, etc. I would also look into gettting relevant professional certifications for the specific area you intend to work in should you decide to work in industry.

Either get one of Netflix, Disney+, or whatever other subscription service you want. If you're studying properly, you usually won't have time to be constantly on there; you would only occasionally watch something.

It's not recommended to bring a game console, unless you're so disciplined that you would only play once in a blue moon.

Go home for the holidays, but if you go home more than once a month then you might affect your grades (unless you're studying at a local uni).

If you don't have a good source of reference for study (especially for qualitative content where you have lots to memorise), consider looking up Ali Abdaal and Thomas Frank for their study tips on YouTube.

The exam topics are usually everything that you find in your lecture notes. Keep the notes pristine and very organised.

Effective notetaking does not necessarily mean pages and pages of notes; it's about concise and effective notes - that takes skill and thinking.



Lastly, have fun. After uni, you're most likely going to have a difficult time finding time to have fun with as many friends as you do during this period of your life.
Original post by Dannydino
im starting uni in 3 months , any advice
i am going to be living in an accomidation
im doing robotics and ai at uni aswel


Hiya

I wrote this article that you'll find helpful: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/hive-articles/to-all-the-incoming-freshers :smile:

-Himieka
It’s not too late to change your mind either.
Reply 8
Original post by Anonymous
First of all, if you get the grades and get accepted, congrats.

I wrote a roughly 50 page guide on this, so it's going to be tight to fit all the advice on a post. Instead, I will just give you a summary.

Key skills to pick up irrespective of the subject:

Learn how to write academically, if you haven't already; the writing style can mean the difference between a Third and a First Class. If necessary, ready How to Write Great Essays by Peter Levin

Learn critical thinking, as this is usually where the high grades (1st class+) are

Learn how to use Microsoft Office proficiently, since you would be using it a lot for essays, assignments, and general seminar work. If you want to get a qualification in this, do one of the Microsoft MOS certifications (they're better than the ICDL)

Learn to speed read; it's one of the life skills that can save you years of your life

Learn to touch type; it's one of the life skills that can also save you years of your life

Learn to communicate and socialise, if you're poor in these areas; networking is crucial for job hunting later in life, and the contacts you have through uni will help you get a lot further along than you think

Learn financial management; it will save you a lot of headache later on. At the very least, learn about cash flow forecast; it's probably the simplest and easiest tool to use that's also the most effective

Academic reading is not like reading a regular book - read only the relevant sections of the chapters and papers you're asked to read. Also, look at introductions and conclusions before reading the rest of the chapter/paper for evidence



Things to note:

Socialise with your flatmates when you move in e.g. night out, curry night, venture and explore the local city/town

University is probably the last place that's half decent to find dates and socialise; after that it will be drastically more difficult. Take advantage of this where possible.

If you don't study near a city centre, bring your car and bike with you; if you don't have a licence, get one

Weekly groceries bought in bulk from the supermarket is better value for money than the occasional purchase from the local shops

Look for internships within the first 3 months at university; the deadlines are crazy early. An internship will carry you a lot further than a degree for work

Whenever you get your assignments back, always go back to the person who marked your assignment (be it your lecturer or not) for further feedback, irrespective of whether you got a first class or not

Remember to stay humble; you won't be the only one who achieved a first class, and just because you got a first class it doesn't necessarily mean that you will get an equally high grade

First class is the top grade, but there are grading that could be even higher e.g. 80%+ These are legendary, but people have achieved them before

Irrespective of where you are staying, always try to be within a 30 minute commute from the uni (ideally 30 minute walk as opposed a 30 minute bike). This will make your life a lot less stressful

If you are not spending the majority of the 40 hour week in libraries and labs, you're not likely studying right. A full time course is designed to stretch you; if you find that you're not putting the hours, expect a lot of stress further down the line

You should have thought about your career options before picking your degree. If you didn't, you should really think and research about it before you go into your first year. This will affect whether you want/need to do postgrad and what else you need to secure the job you want

As far as I know, bachelor's degrees in Robotics and AI aren't degrees offered by top end universities, so you should be fine doing part time jobs (some of the top end universities have issues with students doing part time work). If you do work, I wouldn't do anything more than 20 hours per week on top of your studies (including commute). If at all, I would recommend something in the 5-10 hour range. Any more, and you can see it drastically affecting your grades.

Robotics and AI is not a particularly easy degree, so I would expect you to spend a lot of time working on the material. If you're not, it's a red flag on how high your grades will turn out

The second year is generally easier than the third. If you want to max your grades, then you would want to bank as high grades as you can in your second year so you won't need to stress as much in your third. This is irrespective of what your mark allocations would be

I am not entirely sure what the contents are for your specific degree, but as far as I know Robotics and AI is a degree that should contain quantiative material. Getting a first class in essays modules is more usually difficult (ask any law student) than some quantiative modules; although the content in quantitative modules is generally considered more difficult, you can theoretically get marks as high as 90-100%, whereas essays usually max out at 80%. I would max out the scores you can get in quantitative modules to make up for any shortfalls in your essays.

If you need more help on specific programming issues, it's usually better to go on online forums than just asking coursemates significantly smarter than you (there will always be those smarter than you irrespective of which uni you go to). MDN and general googling is usually helpful (as unis have issues with ChatGPT).

Make friends with people on your course; they're most likely people who you will stay in contact with in the long term.

Particularly useful is your network with people who are smarter than you on your course; don't admire them from a distance and don't think you have to do everything yourself. Study in groups where necessary/possible.

Do go to clubs and societies, but limit yourself to at most 2 clubs/societies - you won't have the time otherwise. Do go on socials and network with more people

If you can't find people to rent out houses with in your 2nd and 3rd year, and you want to live off campus, go on spareroom.com as a last resort. If you do look for private landlords, keep your wits about you and check to see if they are doing things according to the law (some don't).

I don't know what the specific requirements of your degree is (I'm not exactly intending on doing a robotics and AI degree, so I don't know), but you would be looking to at least get the following computer equipment: laptop, laptop bag, mouse (because I don't like touchpads), earphones, USB stick, laser pointer, printer (all-in-ones please and make it a half decent one). If you want to be really fancy, get a sizeable monitor for your laptop as a second screen. Should it be necessary, bring a half decent desktop that doesn't take up a lot of space.

The rooms you generally get aren't usually that big, so don't bring unnecessary stuff with you (it's not a camping trip or your first house). Rule of thumb, if you can't fit everything in 2 bags (e.g. suitcase and laptop bag), don't bring it. It's not fun lugging things in your car/van back and forth over long distances.

Key clothes are usually clothes you wear 80% of the time (usually some versatile like jeans and trainers), smart shoes and clothes for the night out, and a suit for a job interview or something important. Keep things to a minimum and stay practical.

When buying stuff to decorate your room, consider getting a poster or something small at most. If you're moving often or only staying for a year, you don't need lots of stuff to be in the room.

If you don't want to pay for gym membership, get at least a set of dumb bells and a yoga mat (the mat is to cushion the weights and your back/needs when you're on the floor). Quality resistance bands are also good, but should be additions not replacement for the above.

Get a student railcard if you intend to travel. The discount is generally 1/3 off, so if the cumulative discount for the 12 months is more than the £30 cost, you "earned" your money back

Get an annual bus pass where possible; it will save you a load on bus fares if you do use the bus often (e.g. commute from uni, although not ideal; groceries shopping; trips to the city/town centre)

You usually get finance for the first set of degrees that you do e.g. first bachelor's, first master's, first doctorate. If you need to get a second or subsequent set of degrees then under the ELQ policy, you will need to fund it yourself (and possibly at more than £9k a year, depending on the uni). If the degree you are doing isn't the one you want to have by the end of Year 3, think very carefully about what you want to do next (unless you're saying you have lots of time and money, and most of us don't have either).

Master's degrees can sometimes be more expensive than the bachelor's (unis can usually charge any sum for degrees above bachelor's level), so if you want to do a master's think carefully about how you do this e.g. integrated master's (MEng, MSci) vs stand alone master's (MSc). Integrated master's can be cheaper.

Master's degrees are usually half of a bachelor's + master's dissertation. Not all master's degrees are worth the money or effort, so investigate this carefully. For most jobs you won't need a master's. The only possible benefit for the degree you're doing is likely to get a chartered engineering status if your undergrad is an engineering degree e.g. BEng/MEng, not BSc

Plagarism is like a death sentence at university. Break this rule, and expect to be expelled, banned, and blacklisted.

There are extra qualifications that I kind of wished I did during or before uni so I would have more options on the sort of jobs that I can apply for. I am not sure what your budget or intentions are, but consider stuff like: personal training certificates (with REPS), CELTA/CertTESOL (to teach English as a foreign language), work passes for construction work, personal licence (bar manager), hygiene certificate (kitchen work), level 3 certificates in child minding (nursery work). Whether these are worth the money is up to you. Personally if I had programming skills, I would consider freelancing with programming work or consider working part time at a local computer workshop. Some consider tutoring.

If your course have sufficient material to cover LLM, API, and data science, then it can make life significant easier if you use the skills and knowledge for your personal life.

Buy textbooks second hand where possible, especially if it's a popular book as they can be cheap. I wouldn't just rely on Amazon as you can get them cheaper on other websites, especially if they specialise in second hand books. Even then I would only buy textbooks if the book is decent and I have spent more than enough time in the short loan section of the uni.

When doing assignments, look at the recommended reading section of your module outlines; these would contain hints of which articles you should look into when doing your assignments and possibly mention in your exams

Before starting your assignment, you should look through the notes of relevant lecture, and go through everything with a fine toothcomb. The answer for the assignment is generally obscure and very subtle.

Don't quote wikipedia for anything, but use the relevant references at the bottom of the page to further your reading (could include relevant material)

If you have problems with the maths in the course, I would refer to the basic maths textbooks that they mention in the unit outlines. If those books aren't helpful (some won't be), refer to the specific material in the Schaum's Outline series books, but look through the contents of the specific books before buying (a lot of the material overlap in multiple books and some might not contain the material you will need - the series is for Canadian/American higher education system, which can be very different to that of the UK's).

Try to avoid getting anything below a 2:1; life is usually significantly harder if it is. The grade of your bachelor's would generally be used for shortlisting more than any other degrees that you end up doing.

Try to have things going on outside of studies for your job applications. Your grades and qualifications usually don't amount more than a tick in the box for work in industry (the degree content matters more in academia). The rest would usually be things like relevant work experience, skills, personality, etc. I would also look into gettting relevant professional certifications for the specific area you intend to work in should you decide to work in industry.

Either get one of Netflix, Disney+, or whatever other subscription service you want. If you're studying properly, you usually won't have time to be constantly on there; you would only occasionally watch something.

It's not recommended to bring a game console, unless you're so disciplined that you would only play once in a blue moon.

Go home for the holidays, but if you go home more than once a month then you might affect your grades (unless you're studying at a local uni).

If you don't have a good source of reference for study (especially for qualitative content where you have lots to memorise), consider looking up Ali Abdaal and Thomas Frank for their study tips on YouTube.

The exam topics are usually everything that you find in your lecture notes. Keep the notes pristine and very organised.

Effective notetaking does not necessarily mean pages and pages of notes; it's about concise and effective notes - that takes skill and thinking.



Lastly, have fun. After uni, you're most likely going to have a difficult time finding time to have fun with as many friends as you do during this period of your life.


thank you very much for spending time and writing all of this it has helped me alot !
Reply 9
Original post by UniofChester Rep
Hi @Dannydino

From my experience, it was really useful to have a look through lists on websites or even some TikToks to see what’s best to take with you moving in. Some things you won’t even need, so in order to regulate space and prioritise your items it’s a good way to start getting an idea for your room :smile:

Wishing you all the best,
Ellie


good idea thanks
Original post by Anonymous
First of all, if you get the grades and get accepted, congrats.

I wrote a roughly 50 page guide on this, so it's going to be tight to fit all the advice on a post. Instead, I will just give you a summary.

Key skills to pick up irrespective of the subject:

Learn how to write academically, if you haven't already; the writing style can mean the difference between a Third and a First Class. If necessary, ready How to Write Great Essays by Peter Levin

Learn critical thinking, as this is usually where the high grades (1st class+) are

Learn how to use Microsoft Office proficiently, since you would be using it a lot for essays, assignments, and general seminar work. If you want to get a qualification in this, do one of the Microsoft MOS certifications (they're better than the ICDL)

Learn to speed read; it's one of the life skills that can save you years of your life

Learn to touch type; it's one of the life skills that can also save you years of your life

Learn to communicate and socialise, if you're poor in these areas; networking is crucial for job hunting later in life, and the contacts you have through uni will help you get a lot further along than you think

Learn financial management; it will save you a lot of headache later on. At the very least, learn about cash flow forecast; it's probably the simplest and easiest tool to use that's also the most effective

Academic reading is not like reading a regular book - read only the relevant sections of the chapters and papers you're asked to read. Also, look at introductions and conclusions before reading the rest of the chapter/paper for evidence



Things to note:

Socialise with your flatmates when you move in e.g. night out, curry night, venture and explore the local city/town

University is probably the last place that's half decent to find dates and socialise; after that it will be drastically more difficult. Take advantage of this where possible.

If you don't study near a city centre, bring your car and bike with you; if you don't have a licence, get one

Weekly groceries bought in bulk from the supermarket is better value for money than the occasional purchase from the local shops

Look for internships within the first 3 months at university; the deadlines are crazy early. An internship will carry you a lot further than a degree for work

Whenever you get your assignments back, always go back to the person who marked your assignment (be it your lecturer or not) for further feedback, irrespective of whether you got a first class or not

Remember to stay humble; you won't be the only one who achieved a first class, and just because you got a first class it doesn't necessarily mean that you will get an equally high grade

First class is the top grade, but there are grading that could be even higher e.g. 80%+ These are legendary, but people have achieved them before

Irrespective of where you are staying, always try to be within a 30 minute commute from the uni (ideally 30 minute walk as opposed a 30 minute bike). This will make your life a lot less stressful

If you are not spending the majority of the 40 hour week in libraries and labs, you're not likely studying right. A full time course is designed to stretch you; if you find that you're not putting the hours, expect a lot of stress further down the line

You should have thought about your career options before picking your degree. If you didn't, you should really think and research about it before you go into your first year. This will affect whether you want/need to do postgrad and what else you need to secure the job you want

As far as I know, bachelor's degrees in Robotics and AI aren't degrees offered by top end universities, so you should be fine doing part time jobs (some of the top end universities have issues with students doing part time work). If you do work, I wouldn't do anything more than 20 hours per week on top of your studies (including commute). If at all, I would recommend something in the 5-10 hour range. Any more, and you can see it drastically affecting your grades.

Robotics and AI is not a particularly easy degree, so I would expect you to spend a lot of time working on the material. If you're not, it's a red flag on how high your grades will turn out

The second year is generally easier than the third. If you want to max your grades, then you would want to bank as high grades as you can in your second year so you won't need to stress as much in your third. This is irrespective of what your mark allocations would be

I am not entirely sure what the contents are for your specific degree, but as far as I know Robotics and AI is a degree that should contain quantiative material. Getting a first class in essays modules is more usually difficult (ask any law student) than some quantiative modules; although the content in quantitative modules is generally considered more difficult, you can theoretically get marks as high as 90-100%, whereas essays usually max out at 80%. I would max out the scores you can get in quantitative modules to make up for any shortfalls in your essays.

If you need more help on specific programming issues, it's usually better to go on online forums than just asking coursemates significantly smarter than you (there will always be those smarter than you irrespective of which uni you go to). MDN and general googling is usually helpful (as unis have issues with ChatGPT).

Make friends with people on your course; they're most likely people who you will stay in contact with in the long term.

Particularly useful is your network with people who are smarter than you on your course; don't admire them from a distance and don't think you have to do everything yourself. Study in groups where necessary/possible.

Do go to clubs and societies, but limit yourself to at most 2 clubs/societies - you won't have the time otherwise. Do go on socials and network with more people

If you can't find people to rent out houses with in your 2nd and 3rd year, and you want to live off campus, go on spareroom.com as a last resort. If you do look for private landlords, keep your wits about you and check to see if they are doing things according to the law (some don't).

I don't know what the specific requirements of your degree is (I'm not exactly intending on doing a robotics and AI degree, so I don't know), but you would be looking to at least get the following computer equipment: laptop, laptop bag, mouse (because I don't like touchpads), earphones, USB stick, laser pointer, printer (all-in-ones please and make it a half decent one). If you want to be really fancy, get a sizeable monitor for your laptop as a second screen. Should it be necessary, bring a half decent desktop that doesn't take up a lot of space.

The rooms you generally get aren't usually that big, so don't bring unnecessary stuff with you (it's not a camping trip or your first house). Rule of thumb, if you can't fit everything in 2 bags (e.g. suitcase and laptop bag), don't bring it. It's not fun lugging things in your car/van back and forth over long distances.

Key clothes are usually clothes you wear 80% of the time (usually some versatile like jeans and trainers), smart shoes and clothes for the night out, and a suit for a job interview or something important. Keep things to a minimum and stay practical.

When buying stuff to decorate your room, consider getting a poster or something small at most. If you're moving often or only staying for a year, you don't need lots of stuff to be in the room.

If you don't want to pay for gym membership, get at least a set of dumb bells and a yoga mat (the mat is to cushion the weights and your back/needs when you're on the floor). Quality resistance bands are also good, but should be additions not replacement for the above.

Get a student railcard if you intend to travel. The discount is generally 1/3 off, so if the cumulative discount for the 12 months is more than the £30 cost, you "earned" your money back

Get an annual bus pass where possible; it will save you a load on bus fares if you do use the bus often (e.g. commute from uni, although not ideal; groceries shopping; trips to the city/town centre)

You usually get finance for the first set of degrees that you do e.g. first bachelor's, first master's, first doctorate. If you need to get a second or subsequent set of degrees then under the ELQ policy, you will need to fund it yourself (and possibly at more than £9k a year, depending on the uni). If the degree you are doing isn't the one you want to have by the end of Year 3, think very carefully about what you want to do next (unless you're saying you have lots of time and money, and most of us don't have either).

Master's degrees can sometimes be more expensive than the bachelor's (unis can usually charge any sum for degrees above bachelor's level), so if you want to do a master's think carefully about how you do this e.g. integrated master's (MEng, MSci) vs stand alone master's (MSc). Integrated master's can be cheaper.

Master's degrees are usually half of a bachelor's + master's dissertation. Not all master's degrees are worth the money or effort, so investigate this carefully. For most jobs you won't need a master's. The only possible benefit for the degree you're doing is likely to get a chartered engineering status if your undergrad is an engineering degree e.g. BEng/MEng, not BSc

Plagarism is like a death sentence at university. Break this rule, and expect to be expelled, banned, and blacklisted.

There are extra qualifications that I kind of wished I did during or before uni so I would have more options on the sort of jobs that I can apply for. I am not sure what your budget or intentions are, but consider stuff like: personal training certificates (with REPS), CELTA/CertTESOL (to teach English as a foreign language), work passes for construction work, personal licence (bar manager), hygiene certificate (kitchen work), level 3 certificates in child minding (nursery work). Whether these are worth the money is up to you. Personally if I had programming skills, I would consider freelancing with programming work or consider working part time at a local computer workshop. Some consider tutoring.

If your course have sufficient material to cover LLM, API, and data science, then it can make life significant easier if you use the skills and knowledge for your personal life.

Buy textbooks second hand where possible, especially if it's a popular book as they can be cheap. I wouldn't just rely on Amazon as you can get them cheaper on other websites, especially if they specialise in second hand books. Even then I would only buy textbooks if the book is decent and I have spent more than enough time in the short loan section of the uni.

When doing assignments, look at the recommended reading section of your module outlines; these would contain hints of which articles you should look into when doing your assignments and possibly mention in your exams

Before starting your assignment, you should look through the notes of relevant lecture, and go through everything with a fine toothcomb. The answer for the assignment is generally obscure and very subtle.

Don't quote wikipedia for anything, but use the relevant references at the bottom of the page to further your reading (could include relevant material)

If you have problems with the maths in the course, I would refer to the basic maths textbooks that they mention in the unit outlines. If those books aren't helpful (some won't be), refer to the specific material in the Schaum's Outline series books, but look through the contents of the specific books before buying (a lot of the material overlap in multiple books and some might not contain the material you will need - the series is for Canadian/American higher education system, which can be very different to that of the UK's).

Try to avoid getting anything below a 2:1; life is usually significantly harder if it is. The grade of your bachelor's would generally be used for shortlisting more than any other degrees that you end up doing.

Try to have things going on outside of studies for your job applications. Your grades and qualifications usually don't amount more than a tick in the box for work in industry (the degree content matters more in academia). The rest would usually be things like relevant work experience, skills, personality, etc. I would also look into gettting relevant professional certifications for the specific area you intend to work in should you decide to work in industry.

Either get one of Netflix, Disney+, or whatever other subscription service you want. If you're studying properly, you usually won't have time to be constantly on there; you would only occasionally watch something.

It's not recommended to bring a game console, unless you're so disciplined that you would only play once in a blue moon.

Go home for the holidays, but if you go home more than once a month then you might affect your grades (unless you're studying at a local uni).

If you don't have a good source of reference for study (especially for qualitative content where you have lots to memorise), consider looking up Ali Abdaal and Thomas Frank for their study tips on YouTube.

The exam topics are usually everything that you find in your lecture notes. Keep the notes pristine and very organised.

Effective notetaking does not necessarily mean pages and pages of notes; it's about concise and effective notes - that takes skill and thinking.



Lastly, have fun. After uni, you're most likely going to have a difficult time finding time to have fun with as many friends as you do during this period of your life.

Thanks but may you send me a link for the PDF? I'd like to know, because I'm going to uni in Sep 2023
Original post by Dannydino
im starting uni in 3 months , any advice
i am going to be living in an accomidation
im doing robotics and ai at uni aswel

Hi there!
Congratulations on starting uni this year! I would say there are a few things you can do before you start to help make the transition a little bit easier! Lots of uni's will have Facebook pages that you can join where you can meet your new course mates and flat mates! This means on your first day, you'll see some familiar faces!
Getting ready to move in is a really exciting time! Try and see if you can share with your flatmates (if you know them) so you don't end up with 10 of the same pan!
Lastly enjoy your summer! You've earnt it!

Rebecca - 3rd Year UCLan student
Original post by Dannydino
im starting uni in 3 months , any advice
i am going to be living in an accomidation
im doing robotics and ai at uni aswel

Hey there @Dannydino !
Congratulations first of all for being accepted to university! Here are my starting tips and tricks for university...

1) Check your medical records are up to date before going
Double check everything is ready for you to go including changing doctors if you're planning on doing that. I'd also check you've got all your vaccinations as universities recommend you have those including the meningitis vaccine.
2) Join all available freshers groups on Facebook
This speaks for itself. Find the Facebook freshers group including groups for your course and accommodation and get chatting to people! It's a great way to meet people before you even go and can take a lot of the pressure off making friends if you start it off over social media. You may even find your flatmates early on these groups. It's also a good way to find out what freshers events are on and what wristbands are available.
3) Check your university's website for their advice for moving
They may have moving in tips on their website or even a section to book onto welcome week events such as the societies fair. My university even ran a freebee fair where you essentially go and get a lot of free stuff. Most places you have to book onto events because they have limited availability. They also may give you more accommodation information or course events going on.
4) Check you have everything you need to start your course
Do you have a laptop that suits your course? Do you have things to keep you organised such as a diary or a calendar for your room? Have you got a bag that will be able to hold all your stuff in? It may be good to think about all that kind of stuff before you go.
5) Start a bucket list of things you'd like to do whilst at university
Does your university city have an attraction they're most famous for? Is there a festival that it holds every year or a market they're well-known for? Write out a list of things you'd like to achieve during your time at university, then it'll be fun to check back on it at the end of every year. You can also add to it as you go along. I've now finished second year and there's so many things I wish I'd done during my first and I'm making it my mission next year to go out and experience more things before university is over.
6) Make sure you've had a look at your routes to everything
Have a look at how you'd get home if you wanted to visit for the weekend. Make sure you know how long it'll take you to get to campus everyday. That way you can plan out early what time you'll have to wake up.
7) Plan out what you'll buy when you're there vs. what you need to get now
There's no point in buying decor for your room before you go. A lot of people rush to do it and then find once they get there that what they've got doesn't fit in their room or there's not enough space on the shelves. Wait until you get there to do things like that. The same for toiletries, it took up a lot of space in the car when moving in that I could have saved if I just bought everything when I got there. The same goes for dried food, I still wouldn't bother until you get there. The essentials is what you need.

P.S. My biggest piece of advice is to put a roll of toilet roll in your car at the very top so that when you get there, if someone needs the toilet you've got one available. It's the worst when you've got none and you need to unpack everything but need the toilet so bad. Just bring one roll with you initially and then you can buy more once you get there.

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU
Hey there,

I can't give you any information on robotics as I am a nursing student but I can advise you that planning as much as you can beforehand is key. Think about what you want to achieve from university and why you are there. Find out as much information about the course as you can and link up with other new robotics students if you can, most universities will have Facebook pages.

Work out what you to take to your new student accommodation, my advice is to pack light you only need essentials as you will be moving again at the end of year one. This is another opportunity to look on social media to discover others who will be staying at the same accommodation as you.

Attend any applicant days, or university events so you can go and see the campus where you will be studying. This can assist with worries about not finding a way around during the first few weeks.

Relax over the summer spend time with friends and family and you will feel fresh to start year one.

Good Luck!

ARU Dee
Digital Student Ambassador
My simple advice for starting uni: sign up for Student Beans / UniDays:
Links below:

Student Beans:
https://www.studentbeans.com/uk

UniDays:
https://www.myunidays.com/GB/en-GB

These are discount cards that save you money-off all sorts of items. Personal favourite is ShopDisney :P

(Use TopCashback https://www.topcashback.co.uk/home/ or Quidco https://www.quidco.com/ if doing online shopping as you get money by clicking through to the same sites and paying for things).
Original post by hallamstudents
Hey there @Dannydino !
Congratulations first of all for being accepted to university! Here are my starting tips and tricks for university...

1) Check your medical records are up to date before going
Double check everything is ready for you to go including changing doctors if you're planning on doing that. I'd also check you've got all your vaccinations as universities recommend you have those including the meningitis vaccine.
2) Join all available freshers groups on Facebook
This speaks for itself. Find the Facebook freshers group including groups for your course and accommodation and get chatting to people! It's a great way to meet people before you even go and can take a lot of the pressure off making friends if you start it off over social media. You may even find your flatmates early on these groups. It's also a good way to find out what freshers events are on and what wristbands are available.
3) Check your university's website for their advice for moving
They may have moving in tips on their website or even a section to book onto welcome week events such as the societies fair. My university even ran a freebee fair where you essentially go and get a lot of free stuff. Most places you have to book onto events because they have limited availability. They also may give you more accommodation information or course events going on.
4) Check you have everything you need to start your course
Do you have a laptop that suits your course? Do you have things to keep you organised such as a diary or a calendar for your room? Have you got a bag that will be able to hold all your stuff in? It may be good to think about all that kind of stuff before you go.
5) Start a bucket list of things you'd like to do whilst at university
Does your university city have an attraction they're most famous for? Is there a festival that it holds every year or a market they're well-known for? Write out a list of things you'd like to achieve during your time at university, then it'll be fun to check back on it at the end of every year. You can also add to it as you go along. I've now finished second year and there's so many things I wish I'd done during my first and I'm making it my mission next year to go out and experience more things before university is over.
6) Make sure you've had a look at your routes to everything
Have a look at how you'd get home if you wanted to visit for the weekend. Make sure you know how long it'll take you to get to campus everyday. That way you can plan out early what time you'll have to wake up.
7) Plan out what you'll buy when you're there vs. what you need to get now
There's no point in buying decor for your room before you go. A lot of people rush to do it and then find once they get there that what they've got doesn't fit in their room or there's not enough space on the shelves. Wait until you get there to do things like that. The same for toiletries, it took up a lot of space in the car when moving in that I could have saved if I just bought everything when I got there. The same goes for dried food, I still wouldn't bother until you get there. The essentials is what you need.

P.S. My biggest piece of advice is to put a roll of toilet roll in your car at the very top so that when you get there, if someone needs the toilet you've got one available. It's the worst when you've got none and you need to unpack everything but need the toilet so bad. Just bring one roll with you initially and then you can buy more once you get there.

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU

Anything else for international students? btw it's harder than you think to plan for a lot of people, any tips on planning?
Original post by ARUStudents
Hey there,

I can't give you any information on robotics as I am a nursing student but I can advise you that planning as much as you can beforehand is key. Think about what you want to achieve from university and why you are there. Find out as much information about the course as you can and link up with other new robotics students if you can, most universities will have Facebook pages.

Work out what you to take to your new student accommodation, my advice is to pack light you only need essentials as you will be moving again at the end of year one. This is another opportunity to look on social media to discover others who will be staying at the same accommodation as you.

Attend any applicant days, or university events so you can go and see the campus where you will be studying. This can assist with worries about not finding a way around during the first few weeks.

Relax over the summer spend time with friends and family and you will feel fresh to start year one.

Good Luck!

ARU Dee
Digital Student Ambassador

I see, but what about staying in halls for 2nd year? Especially in the rare case you'd be 16 when you start uni and it'll be more difficult for you to get private accomodation at 17.
Original post by justlearning1469
Anything else for international students? btw it's harder than you think to plan for a lot of people, any tips on planning?

I see, but what about staying in halls for 2nd year? Especially in the rare case you'd be 16 when you start uni and it'll be more difficult for you to get private accomodation at 17.

Hey there @justlearning1469 , thank you for your response!
In terms of tips for international students, I unfortunately can't speak from experience. I would just make sure you have everything in place including your VISA's and travel information. I'd also make sure you've transferred everything over to your university including your doctors and all the post you might need to receive. I'd also join the Facebook freshers groups including ones for international students as I know there's some very big groups for those which is great to get a head start and meet new people.

If you're coming from abroad then I get what you're saying about planning. I'd double check you know where your nearest supermarkets are in relation to your accommodation and the nearest budget stores for toiletries. In the UK, your budget toiletries stores are mainly: B&M, HomeBargains, Poundland, Wilko's and Bodycare. They usually have at least one of those in every major city centre. In terms of actual planning, I'd make sure you're only bringing the things over here that you can't get at home. There's always chance to just get everything over here and you can get student discount. Have you got some sort of storange solution sorted for between first and second year? It might be good to plan ahead so that you don't have to keep shipping everything back and forth.

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU
Hi there,

Congratulations on gaining a place to joing university. Here is my advice:

Be prepared for the change. University is a big step up from school. You are incredibly more independent and need to take control of your own routine, schedule etc. This is both daunting as its all to you but also can be liberating. You can create your own schedule to suit how you work best. I recommend getting into a routine and having a planner for your weeks! Write down all your deadlines as soon as you get them and plan how you will work to achieve them in time. Go to your lectures - no one will take your attendance but you'll regret it when you have to catch up.

Secondly, i strongly recommend joining societies. University is the perfect place to discover new passions and try new things. Have a look at your university website and see what they have to offer - If anything sounds interesting then just give it a try! You won't stick with everything but you might find a new hobby and make amazing new friends.

Finally, remember everyone is in the same boat. Be confident and talk to your new housemates, Go to that event and most improtantly ask for help when you need it. Everyone else there is new as well and thereis no shame in what you do.

Hope this helped,
- Sophie (uni of Bath)
Original post by Dannydino
im starting uni in 3 months , any advice
i am going to be living in an accomidation
im doing robotics and ai at uni aswel


Hi @Dannydino

I can see you have had a lot of helpful replies already so I will try my best not to repeat what others have said...

My advice would be work work on mentally preparing yourself for university over the Summer, as others have mentioned this is a massive adjustment especially as you're living in accommodation. I would recommend taking some time to reflect, relax and enjoy being at home, spending as much time as you can with your friends and family. I personally found first year quite challanging at first and missed my home a lot. University can also be a lot to balance with academic strains, living alone and balancing a social life. So my main advice would be to ensure you have a lovely relaxed and long Summer :smile:

Edge Hill also has lots of practical advice about moving to university which you may find useful (this is applicable to any university). This includes things like supporting the transition and budgeting advice and developing independent skills.

Here is a packing list which you may also find useful :smile:

I hope you have a lovely Summer, good luck for starting university!

Katie - Second year Educational Psychology student
(edited 11 months ago)
Original post by Dannydino
im starting uni in 3 months , any advice
i am going to be living in an accomidation
im doing robotics and ai at uni aswel


Hello @Dannydino,
Firstly I would say the best thing you can do in this time is to relax a bit, enjoy your summer and let your mind rest for a bit.

For advice for accommodation and moving in there will be loads of advice and tips on what to bring and what to pack, I think one bit of advice is to not but to much pressure on yourself when it comes to packing, make a list of the things you want to bring and what you need to bring, this will make it so much easier when it comes to getting prepped for the move in day. Depending on your university there might also be social media pages set up for freshers, so get access to them and you might be able to find someone you are living with and make early communication with before move in day.

In terms of general advice for first year and university as a whole, enjoy yourself and make memories, if you are moving to a new location, maybe make a little bucket list of things you want to do, food places you want to try, events you want to go to etc. Then you have loads of ideas of what to get up to in your spare time at university, again this is easy to do by just googling where you are moving to. Even if you are staying local, maybe still make a list of things you would recommend to flat mates in your accommodation and this would then be a good icebreaker.

While in summer you could also get a part time job to save up some money over summer ready for your start date in September.

Hope this helps you
Matthew - University of Salford rep

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