Making the transition from college to university
Hi everyone, I hope that you’ve all had a fabulous summer but now that it is coming to an end I thought it best to write a blog for this years freshers on the transition from college to university. Many of you I’m sure will have celebrated the end of college this year and I hope you all received the results that you wanted however I would definitely start preparing for first year because university is a whole different ball game.
So every university is different therefore I will just tell you about the differences I found at university. Firstly, lectures, I would recommened that you not worry about taking lots of notes as you will often miss the point of the lecture because you are too busy trying to write everything down. It sounds silly but just sitting in lecture and really listening to what the professors are saying is a lot more useful in your learning whilst making short notes on important points to help you remember in the future. Also, a key thing to remember is that university is not a place where lecturers are going to give you worksheets and carry you through your degree. It is your own hard work, effort and motivation that will get you through.
A few study tips are: 1. Do some reading and note taking after each lecture especially those that you don’t quite understand as well, 2. Make use of the study spaces on campus but also take advantage of your room for quiet study since you are only going to be living there for one year, 3. Form study groups or make friends in sociology that you can talk to if there is anything you don’t understand (but don’t worry you have lecturers and seminar leaders who can help explain things more clearly) and 4. Really commit to studying because at the end of the day you are only at university once and you want to come out with the best result that you can get.
Participation at university. I am sure you are wondering how much students participate at university because I found that at college, teachers were very interactive with students and visa versa. So basically, I would save your questions for the end of the lecture because by raising your hand you may disrupt the lecturer and other students. Usually the lecturer will ask if anybody has questions at the end and if not you can always stay behind to discuss certain issues on a one to one basis. However, if you don’t feel comfortable with that no panic, you will have a seminar after each lecture in which you meet in small groups with a seminar leader in order to dissect and evaluate what you have learnt. This allows you to hear other people’s interpretations and ask those questions that you may not have had answered at the lecture.
Finally, research material. I am sure some of you may be wondering how you obtain the information you need when it is not handed to you like it is at college. Well, don’t worry, thanks to the internet it is very unlikely that you won’t find the information you need. Lecturers also provide reading lists and website URL’s that will help you in your degree plus you have a very big library with books that have been used year in year out for this sociology degree. The best advice I can offer is you have to put in what you want out of this degree, meaning that if you really take an interest and make the time to research and expand your understanding you are far more likely to exceed during your time at the University of Warwick.
I wish you all the best of luck this year and hope that you enjoy the first year of sociology as much as I did. If you have any questions please email me and I will be happy to help 🙂