Starting Serious – what do you do after freshers?
Now Welcome Week has officially finished, you might be starting to feel the sense of impending doom – okay, maybe not that much but if nothing else the realisation that uni work is about to be starting. Whilst the last week has been a rush, from moving in and meeting everyone, to taking part in all of the events going on, the start of term brings a whole new experience. It might seem daunting at first, but here’s a few hints on what you can do to make the transition into uni work as smooth as possible:
1. Be prepared.
The night before, if you can, get your things ready for the morning in a bag. Your laptop (charged!), a notebook, and a pen will get you far – especially if you find yourself waking up past your alarm and need to make a dash across campus to make it in time. Having a bag packed takes some of the stress out of mornings and can give you an extra few precious minutes in bed rather than hurriedly grabbing everything you think you might need.
2. Go to your lectures
There’s always a huge temptation to not go to a lecture, especially early in the morning. But if you start to go early on in the term, it sets you up for carrying on throughout the rest of the year. Making the most of classroom time and being able to talk to your lecturers can be really useful as well if you come across anything you don’t really understand straight away.
3. Take water
Some lectures can be over an hour long and may include a short break, but a water bottle will mean you don’t have to feel uncomfortable leaving a lecture halfway through to go find something to drink. It’s also important to stay hydrated – it can help your focus!
4. Learn the teaching style of your lecturers
I found something useful was to find how my lecturers taught – and specifically how much information they put on a PowerPoint slide. Some put almost everything they talked about on the slides, meaning I took fewer notes in those classes and instead listened more without stressing about writing. The ones that used the PowerPoint as a supplementary tool often did not put a lot of information on there, so I started to make sure to focus on what the professor was saying and not just copying from the screen, as tempting as that is!
5. Approach modules with an open mind
This is the final point for me, but honestly one I’ve found myself falling to even this year. After picking my modules my approach was very negative towards one of my classes, and I was set on dropping it and switching before I even set foot in the classroom. Luckily I didn’t – after telling myself I’d give it a week, I found it to be one of my favourites this term. It’s difficult to judge a class based on what you read on Moodle alone, but giving it a chance is definitely a good idea – and even if that doesn’t work out, talking to your academic office (if it’s an optional module!) is a good next step!