University is all about academic knowledge! Wrong!
University life is about you developing as an individual more than anything. The aim is after four years to become not only a graduate, but a responsible, committed and reliable person. Regardless of how much you think you will struggle, maturity will come along the way.
Part of your degree might include individual reports and some will be the result of teamwork. In unfortunate cases, it can be a learning curve that helps you to choose your co-workers carefully next time. Not everyone’s style of work is compatible, so you might encounter arguments, become irritated with peers, unhappy and encounter stressful situations. This is where planning becomes key, because not everyone will attend all meetings. You will be more concerned about the project than others and even in my case, end up doing someone else’s work. You will realise further on that other students’ perceptions of Uni life and their degree differs massively from yours. Don’t be afraid, lecturers will read every single student and when you will thrive, others will fall.
The majority of the students will opt to go into halls in their first year. It offers safety and convenience for the newcomers, the international students or the ones moving away from other cities around the country, as well as parents’ peace of mind. I chose to commute from a close village for the first 2 years of my degree and halfway through my placement. For personal reasons, it was convenient initially, but after the first year, the strain of getting up very early in the morning coupled with the many sweaty runs for the bus meant my enthusiasm had worn off. However, I had many friends who found commuting in their cars quite enjoyable and preferred it that way.
Life at university:
Three years at University will become a very complex journey. You will meet new people, make new friends, swap friends, dump friends but you will always look back to great times you might never live again. As long as you have fun consciously and do not go overboard to miss consecutive lectures and deadlines you will be fine. Weekends are to have fun, enjoy them as three years will fly by before you know it!
Choosing the right University is a big decision for each and every student. The truth is, the University goes hand in hand with the degree you want to do and they will always complement each other. Be it a single honours course or a joint honours course (JHS) you get full support from the staff. Think well in advance if you want to combine two subjects because as weird as the combination might be, in most cases, you can do it. And if it goes wrong, don’t worry, everything in life is a learning curve, you can drop or change the subject after the first year.
Diversity at Derby:
There are students coming from all over the world to study at Derby, so you’ll be able to meet individuals with other cultures and maybe even learn new languages. Everyone’s new so that will make the process easier and be able to interact without being too shy to introduce yourself. The more open you are, the easier it will be to adapt to the new environment and integrate yourself amongst the other new students or ‘freshers’ in Uni terms. Speaking of ‘freshers’ as a student, you have discounts through your University cards, stores like Topman, Topshop, New Look and others will give you discounted rates for essentials like clothes, food and even haircuts!
On the other side, as a new student, you are bound to forget that you will have stuff to read, homework to do and other similar things in advance of your lecture so make sure you check your e-mails! Every two days at the least, but even before you start a new game of Candy Crush or check Facebook a million times and still no updates, make a note – Unimail check!
University is not for granted, so make the most of it! Your degree is really important but don’t waste your time sleeping forever, you can gain invaluable experience while studying! Get involved with the Students’ Union and do volunteering to fundraise for charity causes. Otherwise, you can apply to do the Futures’ Award and participate in projects to gain an extra qualification to be put on your HEAR certificate at graduation or use as a talking point at interviews! So many things to do, you can also register to work through the Student Employment Agency for some extra money in your pocket. Casual vacancies come up all the time; so again, check your e-mails so you can grab it first!