The Student Room Group

Am I taking first year too seriously?

I’m very stressed about exams, I’m doing a law degree. I got a 1:1 on my first essay and the marker said it was exceptional but I think it was a fluke… I don’t know if im overworking myself because lots of second years say they wished they’d just relaxed a bit more and here I am with weeks worth of catch up to do stressing about whether I can get it done in time for exams… I feel like im gonna fail and exams are on my mind 24/7. With the amount of catch up I have to do I will need to be working all day every day for the 3 weeks I have before exams and even that won’t cover it.
Should I chill out or is first year really that important
Original post by Anonymous
I’m very stressed about exams, I’m doing a law degree. I got a 1:1 on my first essay and the marker said it was exceptional but I think it was a fluke… I don’t know if im overworking myself because lots of second years say they wished they’d just relaxed a bit more and here I am with weeks worth of catch up to do stressing about whether I can get it done in time for exams… I feel like im gonna fail and exams are on my mind 24/7. With the amount of catch up I have to do I will need to be working all day every day for the 3 weeks I have before exams and even that won’t cover it.
Should I chill out or is first year really that important

Why do you have "weeks worth of catch up to do"? What caused you to get behind?
Reply 2
Original post by DataVenia
Why do you have "weeks worth of catch up to do"? What caused you to get behind?

Sometimes skip lectures, sometimes dont finish preparation work for seminars, computer deleted all my files the other week so have to restart all my work.
I spend a long time making sure I write good notes/further researching and fully understanding everything I read as opposed to just reading the textbook so takes me a lot longer to complete work too
Original post by Anonymous
I’m very stressed about exams, I’m doing a law degree. I got a 1:1 on my first essay and the marker said it was exceptional but I think it was a fluke… I don’t know if im overworking myself because lots of second years say they wished they’d just relaxed a bit more and here I am with weeks worth of catch up to do stressing about whether I can get it done in time for exams… I feel like im gonna fail and exams are on my mind 24/7. With the amount of catch up I have to do I will need to be working all day every day for the 3 weeks I have before exams and even that won’t cover it.
Should I chill out or is first year really that important


I would check the requirements of your programme specification - this usually has everything and the passing criteria you need to get into 2nd year & 3rd year etc. Hopefully this will ease your mind. Usually it is at least 40% for every module but this does depend on the course so its best to check.
I like using an excel document to keep track of grades etc :smile:

It's good to get into the habit of doing well in assignments so you can use that feedback for future assignments. Also getting used to university exams now it isn't all online anymore too.

I wish I could go back to first year... I kinda miss it now I'm in 3rd year! :tongue: :frown:
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 4
Original post by Chronoscope
I would check the requirements of your programme specification - this usually has everything and the passing criteria you need to get into 2nd year & 3rd year etc. Hopefully this will ease your mind. Usually it is at least 40% for every module but this does depend on the course so its best to check.
I like using an excel document to keep track of grades etc :smile:

It's good to get into the habit of doing well in assignments so you can use that feedback for future assignments. Also getting used to university exams now it isn't all online anymore too.

I wish I could go back to first year... I kinda miss it now I'm in 3rd year! :tongue: :frown:

I mean im not doing that badly im confident ill get at least 40%
But as long as i pass does it really matter… you say you wish you could go back to first year, but im feeling as stressed as a fourth year right now why is everyone so laid back about first year
Original post by Anonymous
Sometimes skip lectures, sometimes dont finish preparation work for seminars, computer deleted all my files the other week so have to restart all my work.
I spend a long time making sure I write good notes/further researching and fully understanding everything I read as opposed to just reading the textbook so takes me a lot longer to complete work too

Understood. As @Chronoscope says, generally speaking, the results you get during first year don't contribute towards your final degree classification. However, do check this (e.g. in your course handbook or the uni's academic regulations on their web site) as this isn't always the case.

First year is primarily about building a solid foundation of knowledge and developing good study practices - like going to all your lectures, properly preparing for seminars and ensuring that important documents are backed up! :wink:

Now is the time to try to strike a balance. So perhaps don't be quite so diligent with the note taking and the further research, as it's causing you to fall behind. It's about trying to find that happy middle ground, when you do enough but not too much. :smile:
Reply 6
If all you need to do is pass (40%) and it doesnt count towards your final degree grade, id suggest you chill out. Youll never be able to make memories like you are able to in first year. Aim for 50% and be happy with that. Go out meet new people and embrace the experience! Theres so much more to uni than acedemics. Im in my fourth year and have gone out once since uni started. I look back to my first year so glad i had the best time ever.
Reply 7
Original post by Umasol
If all you need to do is pass (40%) and it doesnt count towards your final degree grade, id suggest you chill out. Youll never be able to make memories like you are able to in first year. Aim for 50% and be happy with that. Go out meet new people and embrace the experience! Theres so much more to uni than acedemics. Im in my fourth year and have gone out once since uni started. I look back to my first year so glad i had the best time ever.

But wouldn’t getting 50% in first year set a precedent for the next few years… can you get a 2:2 first year then a first by third year?
Reply 8
Bump
Reply 9
Original post by Anonymous #1
But wouldn’t getting 50% in first year set a precedent for the next few years… can you get a 2:2 first year then a first by third year?

Yes. You do not get tested on any of the same things, its hardly even similar. Chill outttt. If you really want to, just catch yourself up in the summer, the exams mean nothing.
Reply 10
Bump
Employers can still see the first year though I think.
Reply 12
Original post by random_matt
Employers can still see the first year though I think.

Employers NEVER ask for your first year results when youre applying. All they ask is your predicted final grade. Iv applied to 50 grad schemes so far and never once have they asked anything like that
Reply 13
Original post by Umasol
Employers NEVER ask for your first year results when youre applying. All they ask is your predicted final grade. Iv applied to 50 grad schemes so far and never once have they asked anything like that

May I ask what result you ended up with? I am obviously aiming for a first and i worry that having a very laid-back attitude in 1st year is not enough to get there. Exams are coming up I'm really nervous lol... I am about to spend my whole christmas catching up on work when I would much rather just relax but can i even afford to do that
Reply 14
Bump
Reply 15
Original post by Anonymous #1
May I ask what result you ended up with? I am obviously aiming for a first and i worry that having a very laid-back attitude in 1st year is not enough to get there. Exams are coming up I'm really nervous lol... I am about to spend my whole christmas catching up on work when I would much rather just relax but can i even afford to do that

I went to zero lectures or seminars in my first and second year. Ended up with a 2:1 overall. Was thoroughly worth sacrificing the first for an actual university experience. There are no grad jobs who require a first or prioritise people with firsts. Honestly u just need to chill out
Reply 16
Also acedemics are not everything. Youll learn and grow so much by socialising and going out. The people i know who have been unable to secure grad jobs are usually introverts who dont go out much. They end up just failing interviews because their social skills are weaker than most
Original post by Anonymous #1
I’m very stressed about exams, I’m doing a law degree. I got a 1:1 on my first essay and the marker said it was exceptional but I think it was a fluke… I don’t know if im overworking myself because lots of second years say they wished they’d just relaxed a bit more and here I am with weeks worth of catch up to do stressing about whether I can get it done in time for exams… I feel like im gonna fail and exams are on my mind 24/7. With the amount of catch up I have to do I will need to be working all day every day for the 3 weeks I have before exams and even that won’t cover it.
Should I chill out or is first year really that important

Hi there
It is good to hear that you are putting a lot of effort into first year, it is good as it will prepare your for the next few years of University.

However, I do not think you should overwork yourself or stress excessively. I would recommend checking your course's grading system- sometimes a first year Law programme does not count towards your final grade, this may help you to relieve some stress.

I know that a law degree can be overwhelming, and most people will fall behind on work at some point, however, as long as you manage to catch up at a later date, or have decent knowledge on the module, you should be fine.

Ultimately, it is the coursework and exams that are important, and which you should focus on achieving good marks.
For the next term, you may find it easier if you try to attend lectures and do seminar prep in time, this will prevent having catch up work piling up, and it may help relieve some stress towards the end of the year.

By the sounds of it though, since you go t a 1:1 on your essay you are already doing great. :smile: Keep up the good effort. If you are unsure why you did well on the essay, you can ask your seminar leader for further feedback. Hopefully this will help to boost your grades in the future.

P.S. if you are interested in a career in law, it is worth aiming for a high grade, at least a 2:1, so you can apply for internships, vacation schemes, or training contracts. (So in that sense, you will have to do work in first year, however, it is important to be able to find a good work-life balance that works for you to prevent burnout. )

I hope this helps.
Chloe
University of Kent Student Rep
(Final year law student)
Original post by Anonymous #1
I’m very stressed about exams, I’m doing a law degree. I got a 1:1 on my first essay and the marker said it was exceptional but I think it was a fluke… I don’t know if im overworking myself because lots of second years say they wished they’d just relaxed a bit more and here I am with weeks worth of catch up to do stressing about whether I can get it done in time for exams… I feel like im gonna fail and exams are on my mind 24/7. With the amount of catch up I have to do I will need to be working all day every day for the 3 weeks I have before exams and even that won’t cover it.
Should I chill out or is first year really that important

Hello there,
I well understand how stressful exams can be, particularly for those in a subject as rigorous as law. First of all, enormous congratulations on the fantastic feedback you received for your first essay! You truly have the abilities!
Now, about the stress and catch-up, take a deep breath. Although the first year is really important, it's also a learning curve, so feel free to modify your strategy. Recall that balance is essential. If you find that working nonstop isn't sustainable, think about making a reasonable plan that includes time for breaks and self-care. Believe in yourself—you're doing fantastic!
Please don't hesitate to get in touch whether you simply want to talk or if you need further support. This is something you can handle!
I hope this is helpful.
Kind regards,
Mrunali Kalbhor,
University of Sunderland Student ambassador
Hello,

My name is Haya, and as a medical student my top advice is remember that your degree is a marathon not a sprint. I remember often thinking so hard about the studying that I just get more tired thinking about it. It important to try your best to manage your time effectively without burning out.

Try to set your goals and plan times for having fun. A big aspect of university is socialising 😀

Best of luck,
Haya- MBBS 5

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