Before coming to university you have so many thoughts going round your head about what to expect and what it will be like. Here are my 5 things I wish I’d have known beforehand:
- Everybody is in the same boat as you! That first day can be a bit of a daunting one as you don’t know what you will be walking into or who you will meet. The great thing is that everybody is in exactly the same situation as you and feeling the same way as you. Once you get that first smile off somebody or have that first conversation, you feel all your anxiousness disappears. Remember, some of the people on your course will be your friends for a long time to come- so it’s a positive day.
- You don’t need to know everything! You are at university to learn more about your degree subject and enhance your knowledge so don’t feel like you have to know everything about it. The lecturers really are there to help you and guide you through your degree and you will see yourself improving through your assessments.
- That part-time job is not more important than your degree! I know money may feel like it is more important than studying or attending your lectures- but it is not! Yes you may be earning some money right here right now but in the long term, getting an excellent degree will pay off far more than that part time job. Prioritise. I would encourage you to have a job as it is good experience, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself or lose sight off your main focus- your degree.
- There will be things you don’t like- that’s life! There will be that one module, that one person or that one assignment that really doesn’t float your boat. But nobody said it wouldn’t be challenging. How you deal with those situations will really help you as a person as Uni is about learning new skills personally too, not just academically. I personally was not a fan of group work, however, I couldn’t pick and choose whether I did it or not. You have to learn to get on with it and find ways to deal with it and in the end, you will feel better for overcoming those problems.
- Lecturers want you to succeed! There are no trick assignments or lecturers that give you things to trip you up or fail. They really are there to push you and get the best out of you. They want you to be challenged and you can also challenge them. If you disagree with their point or feel you can add something- tell them! They will appreciate that you are really paying attention and feel strongly about what you are saying. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion or send them your work to read beforehand. I was a bit dubious at first to have my work criticised but at the end of the day, they will inform you on how to improve your work and therefore gain a better grade. So be proud of your work and trust your lecturers!