Preparing for First Year, Academically
Preparing for University can often seem extremely daunting!
You will more than likely be getting ready to move away from home, which is a drastic change in your personal life, alongside the academic change from A-Levels to Undergraduate.
Whilst the Summer between A-Levels and University was one of the best I’ve had, I remember it happened alongside an anxious wait for exam results and ‘what ifs’ about university life itself.
Whilst these worries were unfounded, I might have found it useful to fill my time with some academic preparation.
Here is a list of things you might find useful!
As an English student, reading is quite obviously crucial to my degree!
There are some texts that are, quite frankly, massive.
Whilst I have always said the workload is massive, I really could have done with reading some of the larger texts that I knew I would struggle with over the Summer.
Check your course pages or emails from your department for a reading list.
Don’t worry if it hasn’t yet been released; it will be in good time!
There are times in first year that inevitably, you will be scrambling to find a copy of a textbook or a novel that you forgot to get your hands on.
This can be really frustrating, especially if you have a lecture or seminar coming up.
With classic English novels, often you can get copies online, through mediums such as Amazon, for a fraction of the price of a physical copy.
When you get your hands on a reading list, have a skim through and see how readily available each text is.
There is no reason you have to spend thousands of pounds on the texts, the library and second-hand copies on Amazon are great places to find resources.
Eventually, I started using a simple routine to find my texts.
My academic week tended to end on a Thursday (that is, end of seminars and lectures).
On Thursday afternoons, I would order or reserve the texts for the next two academic weeks.
This meant I never had to scramble to get a difficult to resource text again!
I’m sure most literature students will agree, that reading ahead is often counterproductive.
If you read the Iliad in the Summer, how on earth will all that content stay in your head until Term 2?
The simple answer is that it won’t, and your hard work will be a waste of time.
If you do get a chance to read ahead, try making some simple resources for you to look back on.
Having just done your A-Levels, you might think that I am referring to flashcards or revision notes.
This is certainly not the case, and you don’t have to do that much work!
Just make a Word Document, using your own words, summarising what you have read in order to jog your memory!