How to settle into your degree programme
The step up, for me at least, from college to university was quite a large one. There are ways, however, to make the process slightly easier for yourself. In today’s blog, I’ll be discussing a few things you can do to settle into (specifically) your degree programme.
First and foremost, depending on your course, you may receive reading recommendations/ tasks to complete before starting your course. Even if you aren’t emailed a reading list, don’t be afraid to email the department first! Someone on my course did this, received an email back listing some useful books, and shared it with people on my course. As a result, I bought a few books from the list, and they came in very handy throughout the year. I used one book a lot in one of my assignments. If you’re doing a humanities/ social sciences degree, reading relevant material over summer can help to refresh your knowledge as well!
Leading on from this point, as soon as you find out your required readings for each module (this should be within week 1 of teaching or even before), head straight to eBay or other second hand retailers (Abebooks.com is great for books). If you can find the correct edition, why bother paying for a brand new one? Many books will also be available in the library to rent, which you can renew throughout the year. Of course, it depends on whether you want to highlight/ write on the book or not.
During freshers week, there were welcome events from my department. Attending these was a great chance to meet some of my future lecturers, be introduced to the running of the department, and be made aware of events happening in the near future. Make sure you go to these, as you’ll meet your course mates before term time teaching commences.
It’s important to reach out to others during this period. Before moving in, I joined the Warwick University freshers Facebook page, where course group chats were putting up links to join. Also, posting a simple question like ‘Is anyone doing …. ?’ will enable people on that same course to comment back, and you can form a group chat! This was really helpful as I met my course mates at a certain spot on campus and walked to welcome events with them, so that I wasn’t going alone. This meant that we all found our way to the correct buildings together, so we weren’t getting lost alone!
A few other things you could do to settle into your course..
– – Suggest going to some fresher’s activities with your course mates! This way, you can get to know each other even more!
– – Get talking to students in the years above! They can tell you about their experience, as well as offer great advice.
– – Get to know your personal tutor! These will stay with you throughout your degree, and will most likely schedule a meeting early on in the first term. I found that having my PT here throughout my first year really helped me to feel at ease about the whole process!
So, I hope this blog has helped you to feel like settling into your course isn’t as scary as it seems! A few simple actions can make a huge difference!