Helpful tips for 1st Year Early Childhood students
Starting university, at any age, is a challenge. However, returning to study after many years, to take on an undergraduate degree, can be quite overwhelming! You are stepping out of your comfort zone – from entering back into the world of study, to studying at this high level or maybe starting off on a completely new career path. Whatever your reason for enrolling on to the Early Childhood Foundation Degree, as a 1st year student you really feel like you are stepping into the unknown. So, I thought that it would be useful to write a blog with some handy tips from some of the current 4th year Early Childhood students (currently starting the BA (Hons) top-up). Thinking back to my 1st year, I compiled the list of questions below, which have been answered by fellow 4th year students. Hopefully, you’ll find the answers interesting and informative.
Question 1: What did you enjoy most about your 1st year on the Early Childhood Foundation Degree?
Response 1: I enjoyed the ‘Storytelling’ module.
Response 2: I particularly enjoyed meeting like-minded fellow students during my first year – it was also really reassuring to realise that everyone had those first-year nerves.
Response 3: I enjoyed visiting campus and engaging in ‘Warwick University life’.
Question 2: What (if anything) did you struggle with, in your 1st year?
Response 1: Navigating all of the IT systems – Microsoft 365, OneDrive, MyWarwick App, Tabula, Moodle, the library online, etc.
Response 2: Time-management was tricky in that first year: you have to be quite strict with yourself and set aside some quality time to do the amount of reading that is expected.
Response 3: Being organised and planning my time.
Question 3: What (if anything) do you wish you had done differently, in your 1st year?
Response 1: Not worried so much about getting everything right and knowing everything from the get-go.
Response 2: Enjoyed the experience more, instead of putting too much pressure on myself to get a high grade.
Question 4: Knowing what you know now, if you could go back and talk to your 1st year self, what advice would give?
Response 1: You don’t need to know it all now; this is the start of your learning journey, and you’ll continue to improve. Also, there is lots of help available to you, as a Warwick student (such as the DSMs (Digital Skills Mentors) for IT support, library support, etc.) so make use of this support.
Response 2: The main piece of advice I would probably give my first-year self would be not to focus on the grade so much – it’s not about the numbers – but pay attention to the feedback.
Response 3: Plan in time to go over the slides, print off slides before lessons (where possible) to write notes on, and take time to understand the reference system.
Response 4: You’ve got this!
Question 5: What one piece of advice would you give to the new cohort of Early Childhood students, in relation to the degree course?
Response 1: Read, work hard, plan your study time well and don’t procrastinate. But, most of all, enjoy it!
Response 2: I would advise the new cohort to take lots of notes, particularly when fellow students are discussing real-life examples of theory in practice – it really helps later when writing up assignments to use these examples as critical analysis of the topic.
Question 6: What one piece of advice would you give to the new cohort of Early Childhood students, in relation to Warwick University?
Response 1: Warwick is a great campus and has great facilities. Plus, there are loads of ‘free’ courses available to students. Utilise what is on offer.
Response 2: In terms of the university itself, I would recommend that new students find some time to explore so that they feel comfortable in their surroundings – also, don’t worry about physically navigating the library itself…as a distance learner, I use the online facility and have never had a problem finding appropriate resources.
Response 3: Get to know the library and the referencing system.
Most of all, just put in the study time, ask for help if you need it, make use of the resources here at Warwick, and enjoy the journey. It’s a great course and, hopefully, you’ll all love it! 🙂